Such A Pleasant Stay

Time to Ramble On, Novo

By DrKSSMDPhD, November 2, 2016

[Ed. Note: Dr. KSS writes about medicine and biotech stocks for the Irregulars. He has agreed to our trading restrictions, chooses his own topics, and his words and opinions are his own. All of his past articles and most recent comments are on his Stock Gumshoe page.]

“Thanks to you I’m much obliged

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Such a pleasant stay.

But now it’s time for me to go

The autumn moon lights my way

Now I smell the rain, and with it pain

And it’s headed my way.”

—- Led Zeppelin

On a summer day, in a month when farmers were making hay, I as a burly bum did come a-hiking through the pages of my E-Trade account. It’s a place that helps me envision lands of milk and honey sometimes, as well as big rock candy mountains. But even when it seems a chore, you have to sniff and poke continually through all your holdings, ever intending to hurl things at the wall where they once stuck to see if they still do. The only dead certainty in investing is change, and today’s fab investment thesis has a way of eventually looking like it belongs on the rack of salted, sun-drying, stench-exuding cod I stopped to ponder on a fjord switchback on a rare warm summer day in Norway. (Just as cat-dragged-in loser investing ideas can reanimate into compellingness when the seasons change. The seasons always change.)

And so I came to notice an odd entry: Novo Nordisk ($NVO) had posted plans to pay a dividend in August. Surely this was an error (E-Trade makes many, be warned). Everyone knows, natch, that Novo’s annual dividend of about 1.5 percent is paid out once yearly in late winter. But other sources corroborated: Novo was doing a pay-out in August. And no comments were being made about this being a “special dividend” and the good times those imply.

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I spoke to Travis Johnson, who told me he’d read in Financial Times that Novo was merely dividing its dividend into two fiscal-year payments. Continuing in a vein of revering the horse’s ...

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