Blue Square Israel
5/7 Close: $3.15
Market Cap: $207 million
Alon Holdings Blue Square Israel (NYSE:BSI) is a supermarket chain that operates Mega stores in Israel as well as Blue Center e-commerce sites, and owns a few specialty retailers via a subsidiary.
This stock is just plain ol’ speculative in many respects. First, it’s small and trades a paltry 10,000 shares daily — so expect crazy volatility and always use limit orders. Secondly, it’s a retail play in Israel, so any outbreak of violence or regional unrest in the Middle East could gut sales and share prices. And thirdly, the dividend was only recently reinstated in January 2012 and the schedule of payouts is as sporadic as the amount. For instance, in 2010, BSI paid two separate dividends worth $3.12 a share. In 2011, it didn’t pay a red shekel. If 23 cents holds as an annual payout, you’ll be sitting on a 7.3% yield. The company is profitable, but earnings are as volatile as the dividend and shares are deeply in the red year-to-date, so hang onto your hat if you chase this small-time income play.