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The Lucky 13

Each January, since 2000, Kelley Wright, editor of Investment Quality Trends, selects The Lucky 13 Portfolio. The portfolio is a diversified group of thirteen, high-quality companies that offer good value and have the potential to outperform the broad market. In its twenty-two year history the portfolio has accomplished that and more and has outperformed the S&P 500 by a considerable margin.

Here are four selections from The Lucky 13 Portfolio for 2023:

Bank of Montreal (BMO): Together with its subsidiaries, BMO is one of the six systemically important banks in Canada. Headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, BMO provides a range of personal and commercial banking, wealth management, and investment banking products and services.Each January, since 2000, Kelley Wright, editor of Investment Quality Trends, selects The Lucky 13 Portfolio. The portfolio is a diversified group of thirteen, high-quality companies that offer good value and have the potential to outperform the broad market. In its twenty-two year history the portfolio has accomplished that and more and has outperformed the S&P 500 by a considerable margin.

It is Canada's 4th largest Schedule I bank generating revenues through a diversified business model. Operations are conducted via a branch network of 893 offices in Canada and 562 offices in the U.S. In Canada, BMO maintains low double-digit market shares across all significant retail financial services and products. Compared to its Canadian peers, the bank has a greater focus on their commercial clientele as more than 50% of loan portfolio is weighted toward business and government clients. As a result, BMO has lower-than-peers exposure to real estate-secured lending. The bank has #2 market share in Canada for business loans and is a top issuer of Mastercard.

BMO's U.S. banking franchise serves primarily 6 states in the Midwest plus FL and AZ, ranking 16th nationally by deposits. The U.S. has been a very attractive and strategically important market for the Canadian banks, providing scale, diversification, and a platform for further growth. Moreover, the bank maintains Capital Markets and Wealth Management offices in select global markets in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and South America.

CVS Health Corporation (CVS) is the largest pharmacy health care provider in the U.S. with over 9,900 retail locations, approximately 1,200 walk-in health care clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with more than 110 million plan members, and a dedicated senior pharmacy care business serving more than one million patients per year. CVS also serves an estimated 35 million people through health insurance products and related services in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and a number of countries outside the U.S. CVS’s strategy is centered on and around the consumer, shifting from transaction-based primary care to addressing holistic health, which will lead to higher quality of care and lower medical costs. CVS offers three distinct models for store formats: sites dedicated to Primary care services, HealthHUB locations with products and services designed for everyday health and wellness needs, and Traditional CVS Pharmacy stores provide prescription services and health, wellness, personal care and other convenient retail offerings. CVS has plans to reduce store density in certain locations through the closure of approximately 900 stores between 2022 and2024, which is expected to be modestly accretive beginning in 2023. CVS has paid dividends since 1916.

UGI Corporation (UGI) distributes, stores, transports, and markets energy products and related services in the United States and internationally. The company operates through four segments: AmeriGas Propane; UGI International; Midstream & Marketing; and UGI Utilities. The company distributes propane to approximately 1.4 million residential, commercial/industrial, motor fuel, agricultural, and wholesale customers through 1,600 propane distribution locations. The company also distributes liquefied petroleum gases (LPG) to residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural, wholesale and automobile fuel customers; and provides logistics, storage, and other services to third-party LPG distributors. Additionally, UGI engages in the retail sale of natural gas, liquid fuels, and electricity to approximately 12,600 residential, commercial, and industrial customers at 42,4001ocations. Further, the company distributes natural gas to approximately 672,000 customers in eastern and central Pennsylvania counties through its distribution system of approximately 12,400 miles of gas mains, and supplies electricity to approximately 62,500 customers in northeastern Pennsylvania through 2,600 miles of lines and 14 substations. UGI also operates electric generation facilities, which include coal-fired, landfill gas-fueled, solar-powered, and natural gas-fueled facilities, a natural gas liquefaction, storage, and vaporization facility, propane storage and propane-air mixing stations, and rail transshipment terminals. UGI also manages natural gas pipeline and storage contracts, develops, owns, and operates pipelines, and gathers infrastructure and gas storage facilities. UGI Corporation is based in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, and has paid uninterrupted dividends since 1971.

Westamerica Bancorporation (WABC) was incorporated in 1972 as “Independent Bankshares Corporation,” a reorganization between three previously unaffiliated Northern California banks. The Company operated as a multi-bank holding company until mid-1983, at which time the then six subsidiary banks were merged into a single bank named Westamerica Bank and the holding company was renamed Westamerica Bancorporation. In April 1997, the Company acquired ValliCorp Holdings, Inc., parent company of ValliWide Bank the largest independent bank holding company headquartered in Central California. In February 2009, Westamerica Bank acquired the banking operations of County Bank from the FDIC and in August 2010, Westamerica Bank acquired assets and assumed the liabilities of the former Sonoma Valley Bank from the FDIC. The bank primarily attracts deposits from local businesses and professionals, with about half of its deposit base comprised of non-interest-bearing deposits. These business operating accounts are harder-to-move accounts where customers do not really expect to earn much interest. WABC differs from the majority of publicly traded banks in that it earns considerably more of its net interest income from securities than from loans, afforded by its ultra-low-cost deposit base. WABC continues to employ a "safety first" mentality when it comes to credit underwriting, where the bank simply won’t issue loans in circumstances that don’t meet its high return standards. With a cost of funds that is almost zero, the bank can earn a respectable net interest margin by investing in securities. As a result, this is a “zig when others zag” bank that can outperform in tougher parts of the credit cycle. WABC has paid dividends since 1975.

Editor’s Note: Since 1966 Investment Quality Trends has provided investors the research, analysis and tools to identify high-quality, blue-chip stocks and to know when they offer good value. This is the information you need to make informed buy, sell and hold decisions about stocks for your portfolio. For more information, visit

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