Sure hope Norm's estimates are correct, but in the past they have been extemely high. The following is from the Yahoo earnings estimates website and as you can see have been fairly accurate or at least close the last four quarters. Interesting that their estimates are actually being lowered each time frame listed not raised.
Earnings History Dec 10 Mar 11 Jun 11 Sep 11 EPS Est 0.26 0.31 0.43 0.50 EPS Actual 0.30 0.32 0.44 0.52 Difference 0.04 0.01 0.01 0.02 Surprise % 15.40% 3.20% 2.30% 4.00%
EPS Trends Current Qtr. Dec 11 Next Qtr. Mar 12 Current Year Dec 11 Next Year Dec 12 Current Estimate 0.52 0.51 1.79 2.37 7 Days Ago 0.51 0.49 1.76 2.38 30 Days Ago 0.51 0.51 1.76 2.43 60 Days Ago 0.51 0.52 1.75 2.50 90 Days Ago 0.51 0.52 1.75 2.50
EPS not all that important right now as so much of it is manufactured and since the market knows that, it is the price multiple movement that's important not EPS. If the market senses EPS is a bunch of hot air, the multiples will simply come down.
Norm, are you saying 2012 div as high as $1.20 per share? That's maybe +$450M in additional distributed cash. If correct, and say the market demands a little higher yield in 2012, then I think $30 would be achievable. Pretty big move. But as I said in my other post, they will need such dividend expansion to support the stock price when interest rates spike.
I like your number, but think getting the dividend to this level is a make or break thing, not a "nice to have"