Beginners Portfolio: Apple Inc. Up 40%, Quindell plc Down 20%!

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The Beginners’ Portfolio is a virtual portfolio, which is run as if based on real money with all costs, spreads and dividends accounted for. Transactions made for the portfolio are for educational purposes only and do not constitute advice to buy or sell.

Since our last Beginners’ Portfolio update, we’ve had some pretty dramatic news from some of our companies.

Before we examine them, here’s what the portfolio was looking like as of Thursday afternoon, 11 September (with the latest dividends from Barclays, BP, GlaxoSmithKline, Persimmon and Rio Tinto included):

Company Shares Buy Cost Bid Value Change %
Tesco 159 305.5p £498.23 229.9p £355.54 -£142.69 -28.6%
Glaxo 34 1,440.5p £502.22 1,428p £472.52 -£26.70 -5.3%
Persimmon 49 617.9p £352.21 1,348p £650.52 £325.31 +100.0%
Blinkx 1,319 36.9p £499.68 41.5p £537.39 £37.71 +7.5%
BP 112 434.5p £499.01 471.6p £518.19 £19.18 +3.8%
Rio Tinto 31 3,132.9p £996.05 3,204p £983.24 -£12.81 -1.3%
BAE 146 332.3p £497.59 455.7p £655.32 £157.73 +31.7%
Apple 14 $65.50 £605.98 $99.90 £845.83 £239.85 +39.6%
Aviva 146 321.4p £470.71 527.5p £760.15 £289.44 +61.5%
Barclays 210 254.2p £546.56 224.5p £461.45 -£85.11 -15.6%
Quindell 249 196.5p £501.73 169.3p £411.56 -£90.17 -18.0%
Cash         £88.67    
Initial total     £5,073.66        
Current total         £6,743.38 £1,669.72 +32.9%

Portfolio on the up

CashIt’s been a positive few weeks overall, with our portfolio gain now up to a shade under 33% — back on 8 August we were up a little over 24%.

Our total has been a lot higher, mind, but our big growth stock Blinkx (LSE: BLNX) famously crashed back from massive gains. But at least Blinkx has been recovering in recent weeks and we’re actually back into profit with it now, but only just.

The big technical news of the week came from Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), whose super-secret product unveiling revealed exactly what everyone had been expecting — a couple of bigger iPhones and the new Apple watch.

Now, I think a phone that needs two hands to operate and a watch that you can only work through your phone and that needs recharging every day are pretty naff ideas, but I’m clearly in a minority — the Apple share price has been pushed up to $99.90. With the pound dropping to $1.62, that takes our gain on Apple to almost 40% in just 20 months.

Dividend slashed

tesco2Then there was the profit warning shock from Tesco (LSE: TSCO), coupled with a 75% slashing of its interim dividend. Many of us were expecting the cash payout to be slimmed down so Tesco has more cash for price wars and the like, but I wasn’t quite expecting that.

Full-year trading profit guidance was downgraded to £2.4bn to £2.5bn, with the first half expected to bring in around £1.1bn.

But on the upside, new chief executive Dave Lewis brought forward his arrival by a month and is now at the helm.

We’ve also had mixed news from Quindell (LSE: QPP). First came the shock that its plan for free telemetrics roll-out with the RAC is off — the company had previously been denying there was anything afoot. Quindell is to buy out the RAC’s share of the joint venture.

Worthless win

Then came the apparent good news that Quindell had won its libel suit against Gotham City Research, but the truth is that Delaware-based Gotham City simply didn’t turn up at, or even acknowledge, the UK case. And the way US law works, Gotham City can pretty much ignore the result unless Quindell pursues a case in the US.

Overall, Quindell shares haven’t moved much, and we’re 18% down on them so far.

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Alan Oscroft has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK owns shares of Apple and Tesco, and has recommended shares in Glaxo. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.