Bingo, terrapin! To the extent there's any difference between your view and mine, it's only to observe that the type of new investors who are asking these questions may have a hard time "patting themselves on the back" when they realize that jumping aboard now doesn't have the short-term benefits they think it does. But yes, we agree that they've "stumbled" across an excellent stock, and both in your way and mine, we're trying to explain why that really is, so that they truly commit for their own sake. In fact, the price may be returning soon to the area where I can rejoin almost everyone else at a Buy.
If there's any proof why I'd prefer that ORI cut it out with these dinky periodic stock splits and wait until it's truly time to issue a full 2-for-1 (a 100% stock dividend), I present this board as evidence. My other small/midcap P/C insurance stock, Selective Insurance Group, hasn't had a split since 1997 and as far as I can tell wouldn't dream of paying a special cash dividend, yet it's dramatically outperformed the industry including ORI (not that I'm complaining about either stock, I'm proud to have both in my portfolio). BTW you should look at SIGI -- it's based in Sussex County, in the northwestern corner of your state. They have an excellent strategy, underwriting discipline, and very good management.
1. I agree, it is nice to see some activity on the board but ...
2. You'll notice that until the $1/share special div. and the 5:4 split announcement, this board, (like this stock), was boring and not generating much comment. Those of us who own ORI and have (or will) for the long-term, like it that way. It's our little secret, a great company that rewards shareholders, has a great balance sheet, conservative management, and validates the stock picking strategies of the Grahams, Buffets, and Siegels of the world.
3. I'd caution those who are so focused on determining whether they are "getting over on the man" (i.e. more shares, more dividend yield, etc...) not lose sight of the forest for the trees. You've stumbled upon a company that is going to reward your investing loyalty and not force you to obsessively monitor the stock day in and day out (assuming you are "long"). Pat yourself on the back, keep an eye on things and enjoy.
<<Because of the 5:4 split, the number of shares goes up by 25% but everything else, including earnings and the regular dividend, goes DOWN by an equivalent amount per share. There is no increase in the regular dividend as a result. You will not magically get 17 cents on a suddenly higher number of shares.>>
Okay I didn't realize that. That has happened on a stock I hold that did 2:1 split.
You had to buy the stock today to get the dividends. 3 settlement days takes you to Dec. 20 and you would therefore be a shareholder on the record. The ex-dividend date is one day after you had to own the stock to get the dividend.