Dividend Hunting

Who’s still paying? Updated 28 October The rate of cancelled and cut dividends has slowed materially in the past few months such that the total ytd is c.£36bn, up from £33.5bn in July.

The focus has now shifted to those paying or likely to pay in the coming months. Our analysis shows a total of c.£20.7bn of extremely likely payments, with a further £12.0bn of likely payments by June 2021.

Index summaries

With less focus on the scale of cancelled and cut dividends we have asked our analysts to assess their companies on the likelihood of them paying (or at least going ex) dividends before the end of June 2021. They were asked to sort their stocks into four baskets:

1. Those that are deemed extremely likely or even guaranteed to make dividend payments.

2. Those that are likely to make payments.

3. Those that are unlikely to make payments.

4. Those that definitely won’t or are extremely unlikely to pay dividends.

We have focused on the first two categories in this note given investors looking for income will be keen for some guidance given the difficulties so far in 2020. The dividends that are deemed “extremely likely” out to June 2021 total £20.7bn, while there are a further £12.0bn worth of dividends that are classed as “likely”.

On the cancellation/cut front, the total ytd is up to just over £36bn, while there are c.£2.7bn worth of dividends in the process of being paid.

Sectorally, the Mining, Miscellaneous/Utilities, Consumer and Healthcare sectors offer the biggest “extremely likely” dividend streams, with decent flows also expected from the Insurance, Building and Industrials areas.

The likely category has a large amount expected from the oil and gas stocks, as well as Technology and Insurance companies. We show tables for all these companies later in the note.

Just for clarification:

• Paying dividends – Those companies that have announced dividends in the knowledge of the virus impact on their business, but have not yet gone ex or gone past their payment dates. Dividends that have already been paid during CY20 have been excluded.

• Extremely likely dividends – These are companies that have continued paying dividends throughout 2020, which look set to continue, and those companies that have given clear guidance that they will restart payments in H1 2021.

• Likely dividends – Are for those companies where there has been no clear cut guidance on restarting payments but where our analysts think the trading conditions and/or the balance sheet make dividend payments likely.

• Cancelled & cut dividends – This category includes companies that have cancelled or cut dividend payments since Covid-19 became prevalent. This category will include dividends that have been formally cut for the next 12 months.