Beginners Portfolio: Apple Inc. Up, Tesco PLC Down, Cash From Persimmon plc

This article is the latest in a series that aims to help novice investors with the stock market. To enjoy past articles in the series, please visit our full archive.

The Beginners’ Portfolio is a virtual portfolio, which is run as if based on real money with all costs, spreads and dividends accounted for.

Since our last update at the end of February, the FTSE has fallen back a bit and most of our shares have headed in the same direction. Here’s what things looked like on 28 March:

Company Shares Buy Cost Bid Value Change %
Tesco 159 305.5p £498.23 295.4p £459.69 -£38.54 -7.7%
Glaxo 34 1,440.5p £502.22 1,634.5p £545.73 £43.51 +8.7%
Persimmon 79 617.9p £500.55 1,351.0p £1,057.29 £556.74 +111.2%
Blinkx 1,319 36.9p £499.68 110.0p £1,440.90 £941.22 +188.4%
BP 112 434.5p £499.01 480.9p £528.61 £29.60 +5.9%
Rio Tinto* 31 3,132.9p £996.05 3,334.0p £1,023.54 £38.62 +7.7%
BAE 146 332.3p £497.59 411.7p £591.08 £93.49 +18.8%
Apple 2 $458.40 £605.98 $537.00 £629.49 £23.51 +3.9%
Aviva 146 321.4p £470.71 454.1p £652.99 £182.28 +38.7
Barclays 210 245.2p £546.56 231.6p £476.36 -£70.20 -12.8%
Cash         £74.74    
Initial total     £5,073.66        
Current total         £7,480.41 £2,406.75 47.4%

* Rio Tinto was bought in two tranches — the figures are totals/averages

This month’s winners

BAE Systems (LSE: BA) shares have recovered a little since results in February, but they’re now on a forward P/E for this year of only a little over 10, with a predicted 5% dividend  yield. We’re up 19% since we bought, and I say the shares are still undervalued.

appleOur investment in Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL.US) has been quite volatile. But with the share price gaining over the past month and exchange rates moving slightly in our favour, we’re ahead — at the moment, at least.

The big news for Apple this week has come from Microsoft, with new CEO Satya Nadella revealing the company’s new version of Office for the Apple iPad — it’s a risk for Microsoft, as it is perhaps one less reason for people to buy Windows-based tablets, but it could pay off for both companies.

Sueprmarket slump

TescoTesco (LSE: TSCO) (NASDAQOTH: TSCDY.US) has fallen back into a losing position — back in May 2012 I really did think the UK’s biggest supermarket chain would return to form quicker than this. But with a 23% price fall over the past 12 months, we’re now looking at a P/E of under 10 and a dividend yield of over 5% — and that’s just too cheap.

Tesco has confirmed a supermarket joint venture with Tata in India. It will involve only a small investment of around £85m, but it does at least show that the company is still looking for overseas opportunities. Results for the year to February are due on 16 April.

Cash from houses

houseThe  other main bit of news we’ve had came from housebuilder Persimmon (LSE: PSN). After upbeat full-year results on 25 February, the firm went on to announce the next step in its plan to return cash to shareholders.

Our last special dividend from Persimmon was the 75p per share paid in April 2013, and there’s to be another 70p per share to be paid on 4 July, with an ex-dividend date of 4 June — it represents a total return of approximately £214m.

If you want to comment on this article, please feel free to visit our Beginners Portfolio discussion board.

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Alan does not own any shares mentioned in this article. The Motley Fool owns shares in Apple and Tesco, and has recommended shares in GlaxoSmithKline.