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Diverse Income Trust (the) Plc DIVI London Ordinary Share
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-3.50 -2.92% 116.50 16:35:07
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waldron: Published in: Investing 7th September 2021 Tax on share dividends to increase by 1.25%. Here’s what it means for investors Updated: by Karl Talbot | 3 min read Tax on share dividends to increase by 1.25%. Here’s what it means for investors The government has announced a 1.25% increase in the tax on share dividends that will apply from April 2022. The news comes at the same time as it was announced that National Insurance contributions will increase by 1.25% next year. The government says the rises will help fund health and social care in England. Both announcements are subject to a vote in the House of Commons. So if you’re an investor, what does the new tax on share dividends mean for you? Here’s what you need to know. How much tax is currently paid on share dividends? If you’re an investor, you currently get a dividend allowance of £2,000. So, if you receive dividends worth £2,000 or less, you don’t have to pay any tax on them. For dividends of more than £2,000, the amount of tax you pay depends on your income tax band. This is unless your investments are held in an ISA, in which case your dividend payments remain tax free. For non-tax-efficient investments, you must pay 7.5% tax on any dividends over £2,000 if you’re a basic rate taxpayer. If you’re a higher rate taxpayer, you must pay 32.5%, and it’s 38.1% if you’re an additional rate taxpayer. You can find more information on income tax bands on the gov.uk website. What are the changes to dividends tax? From April 2022, the government is implementing a 1.25% rise in the tax on dividends to help fund social care. Analysts expect that the move will raise up to £600 million, with the majority of payers coming from the top 10% of households. The new tax will not, however, apply to investments held within an ISA. Why has dividends tax increased? With a National Insurance hike of 1.25% also announced, many analysts feel that the dividends tax is a way for the government to show that it is keen to increase taxes on asset holders as well as those who rely on a working income. Critics of the National Insurance hike have repeatedly pointed to the fact that it will not apply to most pensioners, landlords or those living off income from assets, suggesting that only those relying on a working income face the burden. National Insurance, by definition, is also a regressive tax, meaning that an increase disproportionately impacts those on lower incomes. That’s because the amount of contributions you have to make, at a percentage level, decreases at higher incomes. However, critics of the dividend tax rise consider it a token gesture. That’s because the 1.25% rise won’t apply to investments held in an ISA. How has industry reacted? Commenting on the changes, Tom Selby, head of retirement policy at AJ Bell, says that investors should now take the time to examine their portfolios in order to ensure they aren’t inadvertently paying more tax than they need to. He explains: “The increase in dividend tax means people investing outside tax-sheltered wrappers like pensions and ISAs should review their portfolios to make sure they are making as much use as possible of their annual contribution allowances to keep their tax bills as low as possible.” Will the tax increase definitely go ahead? MPs will vote on the government’s health and social care plan, including the planned dividends tax rise, on Wednesday 8 September at 7pm. While a number of cross-party MPs do not approve of the proposals, the policy is expected to pass through the House of Commons. MyWalletHero…
la forge: Royal Dutch Shell plc second quarter 2021 Euro and GBP equivalent dividend payments Sep 6, 2021 The Board of Royal Dutch Shell plc (“RDS”) today announced the pounds sterling and euro equivalent dividend payments in respect of the second quarter 2021 interim dividend, which was announced on July 29, 2021 at US$0.24 per A ordinary share (“A Share”) and B ordinary share (“B Share”). Dividends on A Shares will be paid, by default, in euros at the rate of €0.2024 per A Share. Holders of A Shares who have validly submitted US dollars or pounds sterling currency elections by August 27, 2021 will be entitled to a dividend of US$0.24 or 17.38p per A Share, respectively. Dividends on B Shares will be paid, by default, in pounds sterling at the rate of 17.38p per B Share. Holders of B Shares who have validly submitted US dollars or euros currency elections by August 27, 2021 will be entitled to a dividend of US$0.24 or €0.2024 per B Share, respectively. Euro and pounds sterling dividends payable in cash have been converted from US dollars based on an average of market exchange rates over the three dealing days from 1 September to 3 September, 2021. This dividend will be payable on September 20, 2021 to those members whose names were on the Register of Members on August 13, 2021. Taxation - cash dividend Cash dividends on A Shares will be subject to the deduction of Dutch dividend withholding tax at the rate of 15%, which may be reduced in certain circumstances. Non-Dutch resident shareholders, depending on their particular circumstances, may be entitled to a full or partial refund of Dutch dividend withholding tax. If you are uncertain as to the tax treatment of any dividends you should consult your tax advisor.
waldron: The Hague, July 29, 2021 - The Board of Royal Dutch Shell plc ("RDS" or the "Company") today announced an interim dividend in respect of the second quarter of 2021 of US$ 0.24 per A ordinary share ("A Share") and B ordinary share ("B Share"). Chair of the Board of Royal Dutch Shell, Sir Andrew Mackenzie commented: "Shell's proven and sustainable cash generation across a range of macroeconomic scenarios has provided the Board confidence to increase shareholder distributions. As a result, the Board has decided to rebase the dividend per share to 24 US cents from the second quarter 2021 onwards." Details relating to the second quarter 2021 interim dividend Per ordinary share Q2 2021 RDS A Shares (US$) 0.24 RDS B Shares (US$) 0.24 It is expected that cash dividends on the B Shares will be paid via the Dividend Access Mechanism and will have a UK source for UK and Dutch tax purposes. Cash dividends on A Shares will be paid, by default, in euros, although holders of A Shares will be able to elect to receive dividends in US dollars or pounds sterling. Cash dividends on B Shares will be paid, by default, in pounds sterling, although holders of B Shares will be able to elect to receive dividends in US dollars or euros. The pound sterling and euro equivalent dividend payments will be announced on September 6, 2021. Per ADS Q2 2021 RDS A ADSs (US$) 0.48 RDS B ADSs (US$) 0.48 Cash dividends on American Depository Shares ("ADSs") will be paid, by default, in US dollars. RDS A and B ADSs are listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbols RDS.A and RDS.B, respectively. Each ADS represents two ordinary shares, two A Shares in the case of RDS.A or two B Shares in the case of RDS.B. ADSs are evidenced by an American Depositary Receipt (ADR) certificate. In many cases the terms ADR and ADS are used interchangeably. Dividend timetable for the second quarter 2021 interim dividend Event Date Announcement date July 29, 2021 Ex- Dividend Date for ADS.A and ADS.B August 12, 2021 Ex- Dividend Date for RDS A and RDS B August 12, 2021 Record date August 13, 2021 Closing of currency election date (see Note August 27, 2021 below) Pound sterling and euro equivalents announcement September 6, 2021 date Payment date September 20, 2021 Note A different currency election date may apply to shareholders holding shares in a securities account with a bank or financial institution ultimately holding through Euroclear Nederland. This may also apply to other shareholders who do not hold their shares either directly on the Register of Members or in the corporate sponsored nominee arrangement. Shareholders can contact their broker, financial intermediary, bank or financial institution for the election deadline that applies. Taxation - cash dividends Cash dividends on A Shares will be subject to the deduction of Dutch dividend withholding tax at the rate of 15%, which may be reduced in certain circumstances. Non-Dutch resident shareholders, depending on their particular circumstances, may be entitled to a full or partial refund of Dutch dividend withholding tax. If you are uncertain as to the tax treatment of any dividends you should consult your tax advisor. Dividend Reinvestment Programmes ("DRIP") The following organisations operate Dividend Reinvestment Plans ("DRIPs") which enable RDS shareholders to elect to have their dividend payments used to purchase RDS shares of the same class as those already held by them: -- Equiniti Financial Services Limited ("EFSL"), for those holding shares (a) directly on the register as certificate holder or as CREST Member and (b) via the Nominee Service; -- ABN-AMRO NV ("ABN") for Financial Intermediaries holding A shares or B shares via Euroclear Nederland; -- JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. ("JPM") for holders of A and B American Depository Shares; and -- Other DRIPs may also be available from the intermediary through which investors hold their shares. Such organisations provide their DRIPs fully on their account and not on behalf of Royal Dutch Shell plc. Interested parties should contact DRIP Offerors directly. More information can be found at https://www.shell.com/drip To be eligible for the next dividend, shareholders must make a valid dividend reinvestment election before the published date for the close of elections. (END) Dow Jones Newswires
waldron: These UK stocks are expected to pay bumper dividends – but beware of broken promises, research says Published Thu, Jul 8 20214:33 AM EDT Elliot Smith @ElliotSmithCNBC Key Points AJ Bell highlighted in a report Wednesday that investors will need to look carefully at the 10 firms expected to yield the highest payouts to shareholders this year, since several of them have a record of being forced to cut dividends during challenging times. Rio Tinto is the highest-yielding individual stock in the FTSE 100, with an expected yield of 12%, followed by BHP at 9.2%, Imperial Brands at 8.7% and Evraz at 8.5%. LONDON — Total FTSE 100 dividend payments are expected to rise by a quarter this year to £76.9 billion ($106.3 million), meaning the U.K.’s leading index is set to yield 3.7% for 2021, according to data aggregated by British stockbroker AJ Bell. Meanwhile the index’s average dividend coverage ratio, which measures the number of times a company can pay dividends to its shareholders, has improved to 1.83x, its highest level since 2014. To supplement the higher dividends, many FTSE 100 companies have begun to announce share buybacks. A total of twelve firms have so far announced buybacks to the aggregate tune of £7.2 billion: Barclays, Berkeley, BP, CRH, Diageo, Ferguson, NatWest, Rightmove, Sage, Standard Chartered, Unilever and Vodafone. Share buybacks are when a company purchases its own shares from the open market, driving up the share price. AJ Bell highlighted in a report Wednesday that investors will need to look carefully at the 10 firms expected to yield the highest payouts to shareholders this year, since several of them have a record of being forced to cut dividends during challenging times. Top 10 yielders Rio Tinto is the highest-yielding individual stock in the FTSE 100, with an expected yield of 12%, followed by BHP at 9.2%, Imperial Brands at 8.7% and Evraz at 8.5%. “Forecast of yields in the region of 10% may make investors a little wary, given the shocking record of firms previously expected to generate such bumper returns, including Vodafone, Shell, Evraz itself and – when they were still in the FTSE 100 – Royal Mail, Marks & Spencer and Centrica,” said AJ Bell Investment Director Russ Mould. “All were forecast to generate a yield in excess of 10% at one stage or another and all cut the dividend instead.” UK small-cap stocks to continue to benefit in the coming months, strategist says Mould added that China’s reported discontent with surging iron ore prices may lead some investors to question the likelihood of such a bumper payment from Rio Tinto. Analyst consensus does not anticipate a repeat performance in 2022, he pointed out. The remaining companies in the top 10 are Persimmon (7.7%), Admiral Group (7.6%), M&G (7.5%), British American Tobacco (7.5%), Anglo American (7.2%) and Phoenix Group (6.9%). Miners and banks also dominate the list of 10 companies expected to make the biggest individual contribution to the £15.3 billion total increase in FTSE 100 dividends this year, the report highlighted, with HSBC, Barclays, Lloyds and NatWest all featuring. ‘Dividend aristocrats’ Mould suggested that investors will need to assess concentration risk — the danger of having too much exposure to a particular sector or type of stock — when it comes to dividends as well as earnings, an issue often associated with seeking income from the U.K. stock market. He also highlighted that historically, the highest-yielding stocks do not prove to be the best long-term investments. “Often defending a high yield can be a burden for a firm, as it sucks cash away from vital investment in the underlying business, or can be a sign that the company is in trouble and investors are demanding such a high yield to compensate themselves for the (perceived) risks associated with owning the equity,” Mould said. BlackRock: Neutral on U.S. stocks, likes cyclicals, Europe and Japan markets “The strongest long-term performance often comes from those firms that have the best long-term dividend growth record, as they provide the dream combination of higher dividends and a higher share price – the increased distribution will over time drag the share price higher through sheer force.” The FTSE 100 currently has 15 firms which can evidence a 10-year dividend growth track record, with nine firms having dropped off that list since the pandemic. Industrial equipment rental company Ashtead tops the list, with a total return of 3,425.4% between 2011 and 2020, followed by Intermediate Capital at 1,031.1% and the London Stock Exchange at 991.2%. The firms, which Mould dubs “dividend aristocrats,” are: Scottish Mortgage (865%), Spirax-Sarco (734.8%), Halma (703.4%), Croda (369.4%), RELX (368.6%), DCC (311.8%), Diageo (259.2%), Hargreaves Lansdown (258.7%), United Utilities (175.2%), National Grid (163.5%), Sage (94%) and British American Tobacco (69.9%).
sarkasm: BP's prized dividend faces chop after Covid triggers £5.2bn loss BP is scheduled to unveil half-year figures on Tuesday City analysts said BP could cut or shelve its payout alongside the figures By Ben Harrington For The Mail On Sunday Published: 22:31 BST, 1 August 2020 | Updated: 23:02 BST, 1 August 2020 BP is being widely tipped to slash its £6.7billion dividend this week. The FTSE 100-listed oil giant, which is run by Bernard Looney, is scheduled to unveil half-year figures on Tuesday. City analysts said BP could cut or shelve its payout alongside the figures, which have been forecast to show a $6.8billion (£5.2billion) loss in the second quarter of this year. City analysts said BP could cut or shelve its payout alongside its half year figures on Tuesday Colin Smith, an analyst at Panmure Gordon, said: 'We now expect BP to cut its dividend... with the second quarter results.' Analysts at Quest, the cash flow specialist division of Canaccord Genuity, have also placed BP on its 'dividend at risk' list. BP generates the largest dividend payments amongst the FTSE 100 blue chip stocks. Both private investors and big City pension funds and institutions would be upset by the cut. Small shareholders in particular rely on companies such as BP for income in retirement – especially as bank savings accounts now generate almost zero returns. The potential reduction of BP's dividend comes after Royal Dutch Shell cut its payout for the first time since the Second World War. Shell's dividend was slashed by 66 per cent – from $15billion last year to $5billion this year. The move came after the oil price crashed following a massive row between Saudi Arabia and Russia. At one point in April, the oil price in the US fell below zero for the first time in history. Ben van Beurden, Shell's chief executive, said the 'monumental' decision to reset the company's dividend earlier this year was difficult but necessary to preserve the financial resilience of the company against the crisis of 'uncertainty'. BP, though, opted not to cut its dividend, which at the time surprised many City analysts and investors. Analysts expect BP will next week unveil a $6.8billion loss for the second quarter. During the same period last year, it generated a $2.8billion profit. Experts also expect BP to reveal that it will take between $13billion and $17.5billion of non-cash charges following financial blows and exploration write-offs. The latter could total between $8billion and $10billion. Aside from BP, other FTSE 100 dividends could be at risk this week. Diageo, the Johnny Walker to Smirnoff drinks giant, is also scheduled to announce full-year results which may include a cut in its shareholder payout. Royal Dutch Shell cut its payout for the first time since the Second World War The company will come under pressure to reduce the dividend after the closure of pubs and hospitality venues for months due to lockdown hammered its sales. Last year, Diageo handed shareholders £1.6billion in dividends. The total amount of dividends paid out by British firms is expected to halve this year as companies look to preserve cash. Some of the most reliable dividend payers including BT and HSBC have slashed their payouts. Research by investment firm Octopus Investments found many income-focused fund managers have already removed BP from their portfolios over fears for the dividend. The proportion of equity income funds that include BP dived from 61 per cent in January to 43 per cent by the end of May.
waldron: Is Shell’s Dividend Cut Permanent? Join Our Community Investors were more than annoyed when Royal Dutch Shell slashed its dividend by two thirds. Just last year, the giant oil company announced its plan to pay out huge dividends over the coming five years. Actually, the investors used stronger terms than “annoyed.̶1; They had reason to be annoyed after the strong commitment to the dividend, but maybe they should have previously shown a greater skepticism about the ability of any management to make such a commitment. Times change and perhaps no managements or boards should publicly commit to actions so far ahead of time. Royal Dutch Shell has a reputation for forward planning. And dividend policy, which is supposed to reflect management’s best long term projections is not something that is trifled with lightly. So what does the significant dividend cut say? Management offered two explanations: 1) it was unwise to pay a dividend that would not be earned. i.e. that would require borrowing to sustain. That would reduce the resilience (a favorite word nowadays) of the company. Royal Dutch Shell, however, has the borrowing power and resources to pay an unearned dividend as well as carry out other activities during a short period of difficulties. We could see cash flow of $35 billion and capital expenditures of $20 billion during a bad year, which leaves just enough to pay the annual dividend of $15 billion. An optimistic management would not see this as a problem at all. But a 66% dividend reduction suggests less than optimistic hopes for a sharp rebound in demand. Or perhaps instead that increasingly volatile global oil market conditions may become the new normal, therefore making a large dividend imprudent. Management added another explanation, though: 2) The company also needed the cash resources of the dividend to shift to a position of net zero carbon emissions by 2050. This seems to have puzzled investors even more than concerns about profound future market volatility. Royal Dutch Shell’s management did not explain how cash conserved in this manner would be profitably redeployed to reach this goal. The collateral issue for investors is how seriously to take management’s guidance which assumes a financial policy continuity for many decades in the future long after the retirements of current senior management and directors. Related: China Set To Ramp Up Natural Gas Imports This Decade Royal Dutch Shell could cease investing in new oil properties, sell off what it owns and put the money into non-fossil energy or just return the cash to its investors. That would get it into a net zero position sooner. Or it could wind down its oil businesses gradually and liquidate the company by paying out dividends rather than retain the money. But with so much money going into the development of oil properties, it is difficult for outsiders to evaluate the company’s new direction, which seems to be: “We want to go green, but not quite yet.” This ambivalence about capital investment direction puts investors in an uncomfortable position. Those looking for steady, high yields have been served notice. They can no longer depend on this sector for above average dividend yields. More risk tolerant growth investors may also become reticent about a business gradually losing market share in an energy market that is itself slow growing. Investors who want exposure to the renewables market will not likely do so via investment in oil companies that increasingly own renewables. In this respect oil companies at this stage don’t bring much to the table except their money. And there is plenty of that around from other sources. Also the environmental-social-governance (ESG) investor movement is growing in importance. And this vocal group is decidedly anti oil and all other fossil fuels. Back in the day portfolio managers catering to yield oriented investors could say, “Yeah, those oil companies are big time polluters but where else can you get 500 or 600 basis points over the risk free rate? Well with this dividend cut that argument just went out the window. Almost five decades ago, the US electric utility industry had a reputation for rock-solid common stock dividends with above average yields. But power plants, especially those located on the east and west coasts, were at that time heavily fueled by cheap oil from the Middle East. Suddenly this formerly cheap fuel first became scarce and then far more expensive. New York’s own Consolidated Edison Company found itself heavily exposed in the early 1970s and did the unthinkable, omitting its dividend. That was the icebreaker so to speak. Others followed. The key takeaway, to us, is that after the Con Ed dividend cut, yield oriented investors looked at electric utilities differently. They could no longer rely on a dividend even during times of stress. We wonder if, in a similar way, Royal Dutch Shell’s dividend action has similarly broken the ice. By Leonard Hyman and William Tilles for Oilprice.com
the grumpy old men: MONEY OBSERVER Vodafone dividend cut highlights need for new approach to income investing The telecoms company’s dividend cut ended a two-decade run of rising payouts. Chris McVey suggests three key issues for equity income investors to consider. June 17, 2019 by Chris McVey Share on: As you may have read last month, Vodafone announced that it was cutting its dividend, despite the board having recommitted to it six months earlier. Vodafone’s cut ends a two-decade run of rising payouts. It also highlights three important issues that equity income investors need to keep in mind. The good news is that investors can mitigate this risk by diversifying the types of income funds they hold, and being aware of three key issues. Vodafone dividend cut: which UK shares might be next? 1) High dividend yields can mean low dividend cover If you hold a stock for its dividend, you want to be confident that the company can keep paying it. Ideally you want to see dividend cover of 2.0 or above, which means profits are enough to cover the payout twice over. In the case of Vodafone, dividend cover was less than 1.0 just before the announcement of its dividend cut. This is clearly unsustainable over the long term, so we shouldn’t be too surprised that Vodafone acted as it did. What it should draw our attention to is the fact that among the big dividend payers, the average dividend cover is significantly below that 2.0 mark. If we look at the 10 FTSE 100 companies that pay the most money out to shareholders, their average dividend cover is less than 1.5. If we look at the top 10 FTSE 100 companies by dividend yield, the figure is just 1.2. 2) Popular income stocks can have below-average dividend growth Many of the big blue-chip dividend payers have reached a stage in their maturity where earnings and dividend growth have slowed. If we take the top 10 companies by total dividend payout and strip out BP and Royal Dutch Shell (because oil price moves make their earnings more volatile), we see that on average their earnings and dividends are expected to grow more slowly than the FTSE All-Share average over the period from the end of 2017 up until 2020. 3) Concentration risk In the run-up to its dividend cut, Vodafone was one of the FTSE 100’s top 10 dividend payers, by both dividend yield and by the total amount that it paid to shareholders. In fact, the top 10 biggest dividend payers accounted for more than half the dividends paid by FTSE 100 companies in 2018. Now consider the fact that three-quarters of traditional income funds hold those stocks, and you’ll see why equity income investors need to have an eye on concentration risk. They may want to consider adding a different type of fund to their portfolio for diversification. A different approach It would be complacent to assume that Vodafone will turn out to be an isolated case. So where can income investors find diversification? Last December, we launched the FP Octopus UK Multi Cap Income Fund, which invests in companies across the entire market cap spectrum, drawing on our longstanding smaller companies’ expertise. This approach has allowed us to seek out companies with sustainable dividends, which have above-average earnings and dividends growth, and that tend not to appear among the holdings of more traditional equity income funds. The experience of Vodafone shows that while a household name and impressive past performance may feel comforting, investors need to consider diversification, particularly if income is important. Chris McVey is a senior fund manager and head of the FP Octopus UK Multi Cap Income Fund, Octopus Investments.
sarkasm: Tuesday 28 May 2019 11:08am Interactive Investor Talk What is City Talk? Latest Vodafone dividend cut: which UK shares might be next? Share Interactive Investor Talk Contributor Vodafone dividend cut: which UK shares might be next? (Source: iStock) By Tom Bailey from interactive investor. Vodafone's cut might be a canary in the coalmine for FTSE 100 shares. Over the past year the market has increasingly cooled on Vodafone (LSE:VOD). The company has a long list of problems, including the high cost of 5G investment, being squeezed by competition on the continent and high levels of debt. The company's share price fell by roughly 30% between April 2018 and April 2019. As a result, the company's dividend yield shot up to a seemingly generous 9%. Now, however, reality has caught up with the company's payout level. On Wednesday 15 May, Vodafone announce its dividend would be cut by 40%, giving it a new yield of around 6%. According to Simon McGarry, senior equity research analyst, Canaccord Genuity Wealth Management: "The red flags have been there for all to see - the dividend yield was dangerously high, low dividend coverage (ratio of earnings to dividends) and dividend growth had slowed - last year growth was only 2% and in its recent statement, there was no growth at all." The share has consistently featured on our Dividend Danger Zone screen since its creation in 2016. A number of high-profile investors had previously grown concerned about Vodafone's position. Mike Fox, manager of Royal London Sustainable Leaders fund recently told Money Observer that he had sold his stake in the company. Similarly, Robin Geffen, chief executive of Neptune Investment Management, sold out of Vodafone last year. Vodafone, however, isn't likely to be the only major UK company seeing a dividend cut in the coming months. The dividend payouts for a number of FTSE companies currently look perilous. According to Geffen: "Vodafone's announcement should be viewed as a canary in the coalmine moment for UK equity income investors" Geffen fears that many other supposedly "safe" dividend-paying companies are also likely to face a cut, citing falling levels of dividend cover as his key concern. He adds: "We would put the tobacco majors Imperial Brands (LSE:IMB) and British American Tobacco (LSE:BATS), BT Group (LSE:BT.A) and the major utilities stocks in that category." British American Tobacco currently has a dividend cover of 1.35 times, Imperial Brands 0.87 times and BT 1.47 times. As a rule of thumb, shares with a dividend cover score of above 2 are considered reliable dividend payers. Meanwhile, a number of companies on our Dividend Danger Zone screen all have dangerously low dividend covers. The worst offender is Stobart Group (LSE:STOB), with a dividend cover of 0.5 times. That means that half of its dividend is being paid for with borrowing. The infrastructure and support services company already cut its dividend last December, citing a lack of cash. Further cuts, it seems, may still be ahead. Hammerson (LSE:HMSO), the property group, is also on the screen, with a particularly high net debt to EBITDA ratio of 10.9 times. This was one of the reasons it entered our screen in March. At the time, McGarry noted that the company was attempting to sell off assets to cut its debt burden. But, he warned: "Hammerson might struggle to deliver its strategy to dispose of retail parks in a bid to reduce leverage, which is too high at 40%+ loan-to-value." The company's dividend cover is currently 1.1 times. Also on the screen is SSE (LSE:SSE), with a dividend cover of 1.2 times. Similarly, Geffen is bearish on the dividend prospect of the utility sector as a whole, noting his is the only IA UK Equity Income Fund to have 0% exposure to utilities. The sector has an average cover of 1.29 times. This article was originally published in our sister magazine Money Observer.
adrian j boris: Will Royal Dutch Shell Follow Its Peers And Raise Its Dividend? Aug. 25, 2018 1:57 AM ET| 24 comments | About: Royal Dutch Shell plc (RDS.B), RDS.A Aristofanis Papadatos Aristofanis Papadatos Oil & gas, portfolio strategy, value Aristofanis Papadatos (3,851 followers) Summary Royal Dutch Shell has not cut its dividend since World War II and is currently offering a 5.6% dividend yield. The oil major has frozen its dividend for 18 consecutive quarters. The big question is whether it will raise its dividend amid excessive free cash flows and a brightening outlook of the oil sector. Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDS.A) (NYSE:RDS.B) is an oil giant that has benefited from the rally of the oil price in the last 12 months, just like its peers. However, the oil major has paid the same dividend for 18 consecutive quarters, as it froze its dividend at the onset of the downturn of the oil market that began in 2014. Therefore, the big question is whether the company will raise its dividend in the upcoming quarters. Dividend record Despite the downturn that began in 2014, Exxon Mobil (XOM), Chevron (CVX) and Total (TOT) have continued to raise their dividends, albeit at a low single-digit rate. BP (BP) followed the same path as Shell and froze its dividend for 15 consecutive quarters, but eventually raised it in the running quarter, thanks to the strength of the oil price and the brightening outlook of the oil market. Therefore, Shell is the only oil major that has kept its dividend flat for such a long period. While Shell is not a dividend aristocrat, it has an exceptional dividend record. To be sure, it has not cut its dividend since World War II. This degree of consistency is extremely rare, particularly for a cyclical stock, and is a testament to the strength of its business model and its execution. On the other hand, Shell has remarkably slowed its dividend growth rate in the last decade, as it has raised it at an average rate of only 2.7% per year. This rate is much lower than that of its American peers. Nevertheless, the current 5.6% dividend yield of Shell is much higher than the 4.1% and 3.8% yields of Exxon and Chevron, respectively. If Shell resumes raising its dividend, it will have a much more attractive dividend than its American peers. Free cash flows Just like the other oil majors, Shell is highly leveraged to the oil price. Consequently, when the oil price began to plunge in 2014, the upstream segment of Shell, which used to generate the vast majority of its total earnings (~90%), saw its earnings collapse. As a result, the earnings of Shell in 2015 and 2016 came out 87% and 75% lower, respectively, than those in 2014. In addition, the free cash flows of the company plunged and hence they were insufficient to fund its dividend. However, thanks to the production cuts of OPEC and Russia, and the drastic investment cuts of all the oil producers during the downturn, the oil market has eliminated its supply glut and has become much tighter this year. As a result, the oil price has enjoyed a strong rally since last summer and is now trading near a 3.5-year high. This rally has resulted in a great rebound of the free cash flows of Shell, which have bounced from -$1.5 B in 2016 to $14.8 B in 2017 and $8.9 B in the first half of this year. Hence the free cash flows of Shell have increased so much that they can easily cover the approximate $13 B in annual dividends. It is remarkable that Shell recently surpassed Exxon in annual operating cash flows ($35.7 B vs. $30.1 B) for the first time in about two decades. Moreover, thanks to the recent fierce downturn of the oil sector, Shell has greatly improved its efficiency. It has reduced its operating expenses by 35% in the last four years while it has focused on investing in high-quality oil reserves, with markedly low breakeven prices. Furthermore, the company expects more than 700,000 barrels/day from projects that will start up this and next year. Overall, thanks to the strength in the oil price and expected production growth, the management of Shell expects the free cash flows to hover around $30 B per year during 2019-2021. Such a level can easily cover not only the current dividend but also meaningful hikes in the upcoming years. Management has noticed the excessive cash flows and recently initiated a 3-year share buyback program worth $25 B. Moreover, it has turned off the scrip dividend and thus it now pays the dividend only in cash, not in shares anymore. These two moves reflect the confidence of management in the brightening outlook of the company. As long as the oil price remains strong, which is the most likely scenario, the next move of the company will be to raise its dividend. Final thoughts After a fierce downturn in its sector, Shell has emerged stronger, with its free cash flows reaching all-time high levels. This is an outstanding achievement, as the price of oil is still about 30% lower than it was before the downturn that began in 2014. This performance confirms that Shell utilized the downturn in a highly productive way by cutting its expenses and investing only in high-return growth projects. Thanks to its excessive free cash flows and its exciting prospects, the oil giant has turned off its scrip dividend and has initiated a gigantic buyback program. The next move in its shareholder distribution policy will be to raise its dividend. Investors should expect a dividend hike in the upcoming quarters. Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.
grupo: UK Dividend Monitor: Headline dividends fall for first time in three years Stronger underlying dividends Mining and commodities Miners saw 95% year-on-year dividend growth Laura Dew Laura Dew @LauraDewIW 30 July 2018 Tweet Facebook LinkedIn Google plus Send to Print this page 0 Comments UK headline dividends have declined for the first time since 2015, falling 2.1% in the second quarter of 2018, according to the latest quarterly dividend monitor from Link Asset Services. The report said year-on-year headline dividends fell to £32.6bn as a result of lower special dividends. Link said special dividends were £1.9bn during the quarter, which was deemed "healthy" but lower than the above-average special dividends of £3.2bn that were paid out in Q2 2017. Related articles UK Dividend Monitor: Headline dividends fall for first time in three years SIPP non-standard investment advice costs FSCS £112m in 2017/18 FSCS claims from failed SIPP provider pour in Three things your clients may call you about this week … Treasury Committee 'doubtful' FOS ready to handle SME cases However, the administration solutions provider said this was not a "cause for alarm" as underlying dividends - which exclude special dividends - saw a sharp rise of 7.1% to a record £30.7bn. Particularly strong growth this year came from the mining sector where headline dividends grew 95% thanks to Glencore, Rio Tinto, Anglo American and Mondi, which collectively paid out over £1.9bn more than in Q2 2017. "As more mining companies move away from a progressive dividend policy that can be impossible to sustain when commodity prices slump, and towards policies that link dividends more explicitly to profits, so we can expect their dividends to be much less predictable than in the past," the report said. "The mining sector is unusually large on the London Stock Exchange compared to most other large markets, making its share of UK dividends much greater than elsewhere." HSBC remained the largest dividend payer followed by Royal Dutch Shell, Rio Tinto, BP and Lloyds Banking Group, collectively paying out £8.8bn during the quarter. Dividends paid out by FTSE 100 companies fell 3.9% year-on-year to £27.3bn as a result of the lower special dividends while companies in the FTSE 250 saw an increase of 6.4% to £4.3bn. "Top 100 dividends fell 3.9% year-on-year in the second quarter to £27.3bn," the report said. "This was mainly due to the big special dividend National Grid paid last year, though exchange-rate effects and the timing change at BAT also played a role. "Adjusting for all these factors, top 100 dividends were actually 14.3% higher. The mining sector made up two-thirds of this increase. "Over the longer-term, mid-cap dividend growth has been slightly higher than the top 100, as these companies are often less mature and so have further to run than their larger counterparts. But they also tend to be more domestically focused, and so may be suffering from slower growth in the UK economy." Link's headline dividend forecast has increased to a record £97.8bn, up from £96.3bn last quarter. Meanwhile, the underlying dividend forecast increased from £90.4bn to £94.1bn. Justin Cooper, chief executive of Link Market Services, part of Link Asset Services, said: "UK plc's profitability is on a firmer footing, and though there are still points of weakness, overall, profits now comfortably cover dividends. Balance sheets are also getting stronger. This is giving companies more headroom to return cash to shareholders. "The miners might be digging deepest, but the rest of UK plc is coming up with the dividend goods too. Three-quarters of sectors saw growth on the back of improving profits, and income investors are set for another record year in 2018."
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