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Alpine Total Dynamic Dividend F Message Board

mike57dk 15 posts  |  Last Activity: Sep 9, 2014 8:47 PM Member since: Oct 30, 2009
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  • Check out the Powerpoint presentation on the TNXP homepage - investor relations - presentations.
    News has been a little slow as we await the BESTFIT trial results scheduled for mid-late October ...( hopefully ) ...and this was a nice refresher on the bullet points and overall investment thesis to own the stock.

    Summary - They have a solid plan ...and the schedule is laid out in detail ...much of which is contingent on the upcoming Trial results ....One thing that I had missed earlier was that the upcoming test for TNX 102 -SL for the PTSD application will feature a 2.8 mg formula for 1/3 of the subjects , a placebo for 1/3 of the subjects and a 5.6 mg dosage for the remaining 1/3 of the people.

    It makes sense that they will want to see if a stronger dosage ( 2x ) has a more pronounced impact on the sleep disorders common to PTSD patients.

    They make the case that the opiate and barbiturate drugs currently being prescribed ( roughly a billion dollars in sales last year ) may well be supplanted by TNX -102 SL ...or ...used to augment the existing treatment for sleep disorder common to PTSD. Since TNX-102-SL is NOT an opiate or barbiturate ...and ...since many patients taking those powerful drugs are ALSO taking Ambien or something similar ...the conjecture is that TNX- 102 SL will be actively prescribed as a replacement for the sleeping aids ...the SL formula moves into the blood stream 10 x faster than a pill ...and the low dosage ( 2.8 mg ) comes with fewer side effects ( zombie effect of Ambien for example ) ....

    With the stock price falling off a bit today ....I plan to continue to accumulate shares .... hope this proves helpful.

    Sentiment: Strong Buy

  • mike57dk mike57dk Aug 18, 2014 3:06 PM Flag

    Yes ...UNNI is definitely in negative territory as you correctly observe ....and that does give pause for concern.

    But ...the fund also posted a Total income for the six months ending 4/30 of + $0.745 ...well in excess of the required dividend distribution and a healthy sign ....In fiscal 2013 the fund reported $1.993 in Total Income but they executed a 130% portfolio turnover to realize that large gain ...Thru 4/30 the fund in annualizing approximately an 80% portfolio turnover ...( they also used up their capital loss carryforwards that were on the books - a smart move and very tax efficient for shareholders )

    Another point to consider ...ETY is being over written with S&P 500 index Call options to the tune of about 47% of the portfolio value ...fund management can easily INCREASE that over write to 60-70% at their discretion ...and thus significantly increase option premium income to the portfolio on a monthly basis.

    This gives the management a soft cushion to accumulate and pay the dividend each month ...I note where almost 30% of the approximate 5,000 Index options they write each month are expiring worthless ... ( they keep the premium received ) and of the remaining 70%; they netted + $13,402,038 over the last six months by simply paying to close the outstanding contracts ....

    The Index Calls become much more valuable in sharp market corrections ...( last couple of weeks for example ) and help protect the portfolio value and NAV in uncertain markets ....( uh ...like today ...lol )

    Summary - ETY management has a certain amount of monthly flexibility to produce cash / income to the portfolio using a greater percentage of Option over write ...management certainly knows that any announced dividend cut would greatly harm the market price ...they have suffered thru that on several occasions ....They are liquidating about 80% of the portfolio every 12 months ...and that produces about $1.447 Billion in proceeds ..so ...I don't think a dividend cut is coming

    Sentiment: Buy

  • Reply to

    Fiscal 6 month review - ETY - some interesting data

    by mike57dk Jul 10, 2014 12:54 PM
    mike57dk mike57dk Aug 18, 2014 2:36 PM Flag

    Dividend Channel features an input box directly below the list of dividends paid ...it shows the value of $10,000 invested from a specific date of your choosing ...with dividends reinvested ....and you can compared against the S&P or Dow or Nasdaq ...
    It provides a " cocktail napkin" or back of the envelope analytic on the Total Return performance of most stocks and closed end funds ...I have found it very accurate in the past ...with only one special dividend payment being accidently omitted on one specific issue ...
    Its a great way to benchmark your investments against the S&P index ...and make better decisions about which to retain ...and which to SELL ...
    Hope this proves helpful - Mike

    Sentiment: Buy

  • Reply to

    Fiscal 6 month review - ETY - some interesting data

    by mike57dk Jul 10, 2014 12:54 PM
    mike57dk mike57dk Jul 26, 2014 2:31 PM Flag

    Look at the Dividend Channel website or Y-charts for specific Total return data ...
    Its a useful tool.
    Today ...it is showing a YTD Total return on ETY of +15.24% Vs the S&P 500 index Total return of +9.09% ...
    Annualized ..that projects ETY to produce +27.41% in 2014 ...as compared to + 16.34% for the index.
    Better put ...the managed fund, ETY, is currently OUTPERFORMING the unmanaged S&P 500 index by 615 basis points in the approximate seven months of 2014 we have experienced thus far ...
    After turning in a +28.36% Total return in 2013 ...ETY is continuing to be " on-a -roll " ...
    Good numbers for investors who have held on to this fund thru the bad years ...and who are finally getting some solid market return on this issue.

    Thanks for your comment ...hope this proves helpful

    Sentiment: Buy

  • mike57dk mike57dk Jul 26, 2014 12:45 AM Flag

    The BAD - continued :
    AOD fund manager's are continuing their ' Dividend Capture ' tactic by buying companies that have been paying large one-time dividends ...then selling ex-dividend ...This seems to have worked over the previous six months ...earning enough to pay the dividend without an issue ...but ...I worry that such a tactic is more opportunistic and short lived ...What if special dividends dry up ? as they always seem to do in difficult markets.

    The UGLY -
    AOD management indicated that they are BORROWING money ( using leverage ) to execute these special dividend captures ...whoa ...leveraged funds don't just get hammered in bad markets ...they get CRUCIFIED ...upside down no less. The use of leverage ADDS a new dimension of risk to the fund.

    What the heck happened to the 10% share re-purchase plan ...?? they executed about 1.7% of the authorized amount ...then stopped completely. That does NOT sound or feel right ...My guess is that without 192% portfolio turnover ..they are running short of cash proceeds from the SELL transactions to be doing much for share buy-backs.

    Summary - AOD is now a leveraged / special dividend capture fund with core blue chip holdings in APPLE , Vodafone, Comcast,Qualcomm, Roche, Nestle, Novartis, Covidien and McKesson. Does that sound good to you ?

    Its a BULL MARKET fund ...ONLY. Switching to HOLD and Reinvest dividends ...Don't try and ride this one thru a difficult market ..as they can't possibly meet the monthly dividend requirement in that circumstance ... and will be forced to slash the dividend distribution ( yet again ) ...the resulting sell off from furious investors will destroy the market price ...just like 2009 ...all over again.

    I wrote on another site that AOD was like a RECOVERING ALCOHOLIC ...could they stay away from Dividend capture as an investment methodology ? The answer is NO ...wait HELL NO ..they are borrowing now money to do it ..#$%$ ?

    The new portfolio managers ...seemed unenthusiastic -

  • Just took a few minutes to review the fiscal six month report from AOD ...and came away with some mixed feelings ...here is the data :

    The Good -
    Thru July 25, 2014 - AOD has managed a + 11.41% Total return to investors compared to a + 9.09% Total return for the S&P 500 index...
    Thru 7/25 the Discount to NAV is approximately -13.01% making the valuation of the current market price very attractive. ( especially with general market indices bouncing off all time highs )
    The audited report shows the NAV of the fund increasing by + 5.45% thru the six month period ending 4/30/14. ( good sign that the dividend distributions are not materially subtracting from the NAV )
    The fund is actively using some of their accumulated capital loss carryforwards to offset any capital gains that could be passed thru to investors for 2014 - they used up $33 million and have an incredible $3 BILLION or so to use up by 2019 ...( we wont be seeing any capital gains taxation from AOD before then ..so that's a positive )
    Net Investment Income per share for the six months ending 4/30/14 was +0.46 ...and the six month dividend distribution was around $0.33 per share - so ...They EARNED their dividend distribution and $0.13 per share more than paid out ..that's very important and reflects favorably on the financial health of AOD.
    Portfolio Turnover is at 56% for six months ...annualized at 112% ...still the lowest since the inception of the fund.
    The Bad -
    In fiscal 2013 - AOD retired 1,772,415 shares under the terms of the repurchase program ...Since Oct 31, 2013, they have retired EXACTLY ZERO shares under this program despite the massive discount to NAV that would make such a share retirement very profitable and attractive on the balance sheet.
    Net assets under management increased a very puny +$15,126,731 to total $1,082,298,147 ...That's surprisingly WEAK and cause for some concern.
    More on the next post ...( out of space )

  • Reply to

    Fiscal 6 month review - ETY - some interesting data

    by mike57dk Jul 10, 2014 12:54 PM
    mike57dk mike57dk Jul 24, 2014 1:32 PM Flag

    Hello - The share re-purchase will reduce the number of outstanding shares , allow management to book an unrealized gain on the retirement of the shares and subsequently help reduce the discount to NAV a small amount.
    ETY has effectively reduced the discount to NAV from a whopping 12.92% in fiscal 2013 to a more pedestrian 6% level at this writing ...that feels about "right" for a typical closed end fund not using any leverage. The purpose of the 1,385,696 share retirement plan in 2013 was to get that discount out of the double digit area ..and from that standpoint..it has been a big success.

    ETY is already 400+ basis points ahead of the S&P 500 index on a Total return basis thru YTD 2014 ...and after delivering a + 28.36% Total Return in calendar 2013.

    It seems like management has greatly reduced the monthly share buy-back from 115,000 shares per month to 23,000 shares ...so...the impact of buying back 20,000 shares or so each month with be minimal on the market price and performance.

    They are effectively taking the training wheels off the bicycle ...lets see how they do without the additional support in the market.

  • Reply to


    by alpine_rappr Jul 1, 2014 2:24 PM
    mike57dk mike57dk Jul 24, 2014 1:19 PM Flag

    That could be because of their managed distribution policy which requires they pay the dividend, unless an announced cut is made, in equal monthly payments.
    They raised the dividend 4.63% in Jan 2014 but also announced a 10% share buy-back ...

    My guess is that the fund's investment operation YTD has NOT produced sufficient realized capital gain and investment income to support the dividend distribution and they must make up the shortfall with ROC as any change in dividend payout, at this point, would lead to a huge sell off ....

    The fund managed to INCREASE its NAV + 17.60% in fiscal 2013 and its a bit better YTD 2014 as well ...so any ROC is not a serious issue ...at least at this point.

    AOD earned $0.71 per share in fiscal 2013 ...more than enough to pay out the large dividend ...we should see the progress, or lack there of, in the semi-annual report which seems well overdue at this writing ....

    It should prove to be interesting reading ....share buy-back, Income YTD , portfolio turnover are all major topics for review ...

  • Just reviewed the six month report ...here is the gist of it along with some opinion / commentary:

    NAV is up + 6.79% over the past 6 months ending 4/30/14 and + 15.47% on a one year basis ...This can only be construed as GOOD news for those concerned about ROC in the dividend distribution ...as the NAV of the fund continues to improve.

    Discount to NAV has DECLINED to -6.19% from the 9-10% level a year ago ...probably reflecting the positive impact of the share buy-back plan that was renewed in 2013 for up to 10% of the funds outstanding shares.

    The report also shows that ETY management has significantly SLOWED the share repurchase activity ...dropping to 140,000 shares ' retired ' over the past six months from the 1,385,696 ' retired ' in fiscal 2013. It reveals that the fund was booking an average discount on repurchases of 10.56% over the previous six months and 12.92% in fiscal 2013. ( management must believe that a 10% discount to NAV is compelling but a puny 6% discount NOT so attractive )

    Options activity - Roughly a Break-even over the last 6 months ...the fund is writing ( selling ) about 5,000 S&P 500 index calls against its portfolio each MONTH ...with about a 12 day average time to expiration ...they close out about 70% of these contracts ...and let the remaining 30% expire worthless ...( keeping the premium received )

    Portfolio turnover has returned to 39% ...from the dramatic 130% in 2013 as the fund made a one time effort to realize gains and wipe out the carryforward losses on its books from 2008 / 2009 ...

    Net assets are about $1.8 billion ...up slightly over the fiscal year end in 2013 ...( healthy sign )

    Portfolio - 87% in the US ...and the S&P 500 index is now their official comparative index ....

    Holdings - Apple - 3.4% and Google Class A and C are 3.7%, Chevron -2% , Merck - 2.4%, Mondelez -2.6%, Gilead -2.3% Corning -2%, Occidental -1.9%, Corning -2% ...Top 10 stocks are 22% of portfolio. 97% of assets in blue chip stocks

    Sentiment: Buy

  • The numbers for the first six months are in ...and here is the unvarnished scoop:

    YTD - ETY has produced a +14.24% as compared to the S&P 500 index which is up +9.35% YTD.

    Annualized ...that puts ETY at +28.71% versus the index at + 18.86%

    ETY seems to be sustaining a plus 489 basis point advantage over the S&P index ...and that is significant and substantial.

    Holders of ETY earned +28.36 in total return during 2013.

    The mid year fiscal report is due out any day now ....so we will get a chance to "look under the hood " and see where the fund has flourished ...and where it floundered.

    Hope this proves helpful ...

  • mike57dk mike57dk Jul 3, 2014 11:18 AM Flag

    Good am mblock66 ...
    Some good news for you ...In 2013 ETY management took the extraordinary step of re-characterizing the entire calendar year of PREVIOUSLY paid dividend distributions to make them capital gains ...instead of 80% ROC as their previous monthly updates had indicated ....

    The fund management adroitly used up 100% of the Capital Loss carryforwards they had on the books from the market crash of 2008/ early 2009 timeframe.

    Their rationale was that it still placed the income paid in 2013 as " Tax Advantaged " because the tax rate on capital gains was significantly lower than ordinary income rates ...and that their earlier written estimates of the ROC component in each monthly distribution was exactly that ...an estimate only and they had the right to adjust to their best usage / need.

    So ...what does that mean to you ?

    1. There should NOT have been ANY cost basis reduction in 2013 ...as there was NO ROC paid out in that calendar year. ( confirm that with your tax statement from the fund ...its true )

    2. ETY immediately returned to their previous distribution tactic ...monthly managed distributions with a large ROC component ....ball parking that thus far in 2014 around 75% ROC in the dividends paid ytd.

    3. You netted a plus 28.36% in calendar year 2013 ...have a plus 12% return YTD ...which is annualizing around + 25% for 2014 ....That's easily outperforming the S&P 500 index ...in a cheaper / tax efficient way.

    4. I have NEVER seen a fund management group move like this ....( am sure there must be some examples ...just don't know any ) ...It's refreshing ...and very clever ....( legal too )

    5. Sharebuilder correctly categorized the 2013 distributions as capital gain distributions and some interest ...they had to as ETY reported no ROC or Other Income for 2013. Unfortunately ..most brokerages are now doing cost basis reductions with the ROC component ...but ...in exchange for an average 6% taxation rate for every dollar we receive .its ok.

  • Reply to


    by alpine_rappr Jul 1, 2014 2:24 PM
    mike57dk mike57dk Jul 2, 2014 11:21 AM Flag

    Good morning alpine_rappr ...

    First ...let me respond that all mathematical data comes from either Dividend Channel or Y-charts ...as nobody wants bad or incorrect performance data to influence their investment decisions. If the numbers were BAD ...I would still report them ...they are just the facts we all need to help make a judgment on the fund.

    Second ... I try not to be a booster of anybody's fund ....let alone Alpine ...who has no special love for me and my nagging questions to them.

    Third - I do try and "bottom fish" for investments with good potential from time to time believing that things tend to get over-sold , especially in the closed end fund world. AOD happens to be one of them.

    Mostly ...I read their annual reports and e-mail questions ...( I do skip or ignore the overall market commentary from Samuel Lieber as its mostly garbage and feel good metaphors ) The new portfolio managers in AOD caught my attention with their blunt commentary and determination to make a series of much needed changes to the fund ...( raising the dividend / share buy back plan / 1:2 reverse split / elimination of the discredited dividend capture scheme / improving the NAV significantly ...all within their first 12 months on the job ) Given their relative youth and tenure in the securities industry ...this was a ' GUTS ' move ....in a mutual fund with quite possibility the very WORST reputation in the industry ...

    Lastly ...I post here and on a few other boards to swap information and perspectives ...I found out about Dividend Channel from another contributor here on the AOD board that absolutely despises the fund ...and the subsequent back and forth proved instructional ...at least for me.

    I think, as investors, we need to understand how the fund is ( or is not ) making money ....and if I can't explain or defend what the heck they are doing ...then its time to SELL the fund ...

    Please don't confuse that with " boosting" or shilling for Alpine ....

  • Its 30 June so lets follow up on performance tracking on a YTD basis ...

    First - raw data including reinvested dividends = YTD return is +11.33% / annualized at +23.63%

    S&P 500 index including reinvested dividends = YTD return is +8.04% / annualized at +16.77%

    AOD is ( today anyway ) delivering a +329 basis point advantage over the S&P 500 index ytd ....and projecting this thru year end ...that would be a very robust 686 basis points ahead of the index.

    After the very rocky start in January and with the highly unpopular 1:2 Reverse stock split ...AOD has caught up and surpassed the benchmark index by a significant percentage.

    The long suffering holders of this fund are finally seeing some statistical improvement and positive movement in the market price.

    The thesis to own and hold the fund is simple:

    1. New management or portfolio managers have been on the job about 18 months thus far ...they have improved the NAV dramatically ...
    2. The fund is trading at a significant discount to NAV making it a compelling valuation in the present day market.
    3.The fund is implementing an aggressive share buy-back plan ...we should see the actual number of shares purchased in the June mid-year report ...my guess is that its significant.

    AOD remains a fund with a sordid history ...a "Scarlett A" so to speak ...but I really like the new management and their aggressive efforts to rehabilitate the performance and reputation of the fund.

    So far in 2014 ...we are being rewarded for holding shares of the fund ...

    Hope this proves helpful ....

    Sentiment: Buy

  • Just reviewed the May Fiscal year to date report and breakdown composition of the dividends paid from Nov - May 2014. Here is the scoop :

    74% of the $0.4367 we have received is classified as ROC or Other Capital source

    26% or $15.34 is classified as net investment income.

    Before we trigger a fresh wave of folks declaring that ROC is " negative " and that the fund is simply handing our principal back to us ...keep in mind that NAV of the fund is actually UP 4.7% over the trailing six months ...so the ROC component has not harmed or diminished the fund ...in point of fact ...the net asset value is up nicely.

    Projecting the past six months out to the full 12 months of 2014 ....we should expect to receive $1.01 per share in dividends with $0.747 of that calendar year distribution being free from any taxation ....and $0.262 being taxed at your income rate ...so...on roughly a dollar of 2014 income ; we will owe ( typically 25% tax bracket on average ) $0.065 in Federal taxes ...That's not bad.

    We have a ytd return on ETY of + 12.4% ....annualizing at +26% at this writing ..

    In 2013 we netted a +28.36% return with dividends reinvested ...

    Hope this proves helpful - Mike

  • Reply to

    On Line Trading Restriction

    by rak5555 Jun 23, 2014 6:17 PM
    mike57dk mike57dk Jun 23, 2014 7:58 PM Flag

    purchased a small lot again yesterday ...had to use their land line to customer service ...then get switched to a trader ...confirm identity / passwords ...it took a bit of time ...
    This is the fourth consecutive time E-Trade has forced a manual transaction to BUY the shares ...Their customer service guy advises that they have a compliance restriction placed on the on-line trading of TNXP.

    I should point out that the initial two BUY transactions were done on-line ...but sometime after the secondary offering when the market price dropped from $20 per share to around $9 ...E-Trade made a decision to impede or at least slow down on-line trading.

    I read where TNXP was complaining to E-Trade about the restriction ( Joe Springer in Seeking Alpha I think )

    Hopefully, as the market price continues its recovery, E-Trade will release the trading restriction on TNXP ...but its a bit of a hindrance in the present format.

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