The CME Group is comprised of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, COMEX, Chicago Board of Trade, and the New York Mercantile Exchange. CME is the largest group of derivatives exchanges in futures contracts and options. Basically, really cool shit trades on their exchanges that money managers would be interested in using to hedge their portfolios. Volumes have been increasing consistently year over year on these exchanges.
The other day CME announced their 7th straight year of dividend increases. The quarterly dividend was increased from $0.75 to $0.85 per share, representing a 13.33% increase for the year. This brings the current dividend yield to 1.60%, based on a closing price of $213.13. This increase exceeds my expectation of a $0.07 increase to the dividend for the year. CME has had 16 dividend increases since going public in 2003. You should also read about their history of special dividends, which is like walking down the street and finding big dollar bills sitting on the street (about $750 extra in my case this year)
A Look at the Regular Dividend History:
The above spreadsheet looks solely at the regular quarterly dividend and does not include any of the special dividends.
What’s impressive about the dividend from CME, despite having 3 years with no increase and snapping streaks, is the growth of the quarterly dividend. Since paying the very first quarterly dividend of $0.028 back in 2003, up to the most recent upcoming dividend of $0.85 in 2020, the average annual growth rate has been an amazing 22.65% per year. Imagine your annual pay increasing that much every year. When we look at the annualized dividends from 2003 to 2020, dividend income alone has grown a total of 2,598%. Simply amazing. I have been long CME since IPO and have acquired more through regular purchases and from M&A activity with CBOT and NMX. Regardless of stock performance, because I’ve held onto the position for so long, the stock kicks out good returns for me, even if the stock were flat on the year. If you haven’t explored my Yield on Cost post, it’s worth a read and mentions how XOM kicks out great returns because of dividend growth and buy and hold in the neighbor hood of 8% per year (and this is based on data from years ago). That article has also been picked up on a few sites, so it must be decent.
So 2 questions to ask: How has the stock performed? and Is the dividend sustainable?
CME vs S&P500
If a picture is worth a 1000 words, then I guess this picture shows you that CME has handily outperformed the S&P500 by over 2000% since 2003. So the answer to how has the stock performed? One word, amazingly. That orange line that looks like it has flat lined is the S&P500 and it’s actually up 250% during the time frame. CME is up almost 2500%.
Market Cap: $73.81Billion
PE Ratio: 36.06
Dividend Yield: 1.60%
Profit Margin: 40.99%
Total Cash: $1.29 Billion
Total Debt: $4.53 Billion
Payout Ratio: 51.85%
Healthy profit margin and good cash on hand. Looking at that payout ratio, shows they still have room for increasing their dividend years down the road, while also continuing their occasional special dividends. I’ve had a long love affair with these specialty derivative exchanges, and may be partial because my focused area of research in college was derivatives, but a company who can literally come up with new regulated derivative contracts to provide hedges for the big money managers, is literally able to print money.Follow me on the social medias: