leadf
logo-loader
viewAstraZeneca

FTSE 100 dividend looks attractive but beware the concentration risk

Just ten blue chip stocks are forecast to pay 55% of the index's forecast total for 2020

AstraZeneca -

The FTSE 100 is still expected to yield 3.6% in 2020 despite close to half the companies slashed almost £30bn from forecast dividends for the year.

Earnings cover for dividends is still thin at 1.40 across the index, according to quarterly research by AJ Bell, which suggests there could be further cuts later in the year. 

Furthermore, around three-quarters of the index’ expected dividends for the year are concentrated in just 20 companies, not all of which have the most reliable record for keeping their payout intact. 

READ: Shell and BP's days as dividend paying leviathans look numbered says analysts

BP PLC (LON:BP.), for example, is now expected to be the biggest single dividend payer and analysts are undecided over whether it is likely to trim its payout soon.

At the start of the year, some £91bn of dividends were being forecast for the year ahead, but after 48 companies cut, deferred or cancelled payments, the research shows the analysts have severely trimmed this down to close to £62bn.

If these forecasts are fulfilled this would represent a 17% fall in the total Footsie payout for 2020 versus 2019 after an 11% drop in 2019, leaving the total at its lowest level since 2014.

But a 3.6% dividend yield for the FTSE 100, while down from the 4.7% the index was expected to yield at the beginning of the year, is a lot better than most bank accounts offer.

However, Russ Mould, AJ Bell’s investment director, said investors “should assess the concentration risk which has dogged those who have sought income from the UK stock market for some years”. 

This comes from just ten stocks being forecast to pay dividends worth £34.1bn, or 55% of the forecast total for 2020, with the top 20 companies expected to generate 74% of the total index’s pay-out, at £45.8bn.

“Anyone who believes the UK stock market is cheap on a yield basis, and looking to buy individual stocks, glean access via a passive index tracker or buy a UK equity income fund needs to have a good understanding of, and strong view on, those 20 names in particular,” says Mould.

Aviva PLC (LON:AV.), M&G PLC (LON:MNG) and BP are the three highest yielding stocks in the index – all in excess of 10% — and Mould says the record of firms that in the past have on paper offered a 10%-plus yield have a poor record of actually making those payments.

Company

Dividend (£ m)

Yield (%) Earnings cover (x) Cut in last decade?

BP (LON:BP.)

6,702 10.6% 

0.04x

2010
BAT (LON:BAT)

4,969

6.8%

1.53x

No
Shell (LON:RDSA

4,030

3.9%

0.57x

2020

GSK (LON:GSK)

4,014

4.8% 1.46x No

Rio Tinto (LON:RIO)

3,354 6.0%  1.55x  2016
AstraZeneca (LON:AZN) 2,989  

2.7%

1.42x  No
Vodafone (LON:VOD)

2,181 

6.4%

0.88x

2018

HSBC (LON:HSBA)

2,049

2.6%

2.21x

2019

BHP Group (LON:BHP)

2,018

5.9%

1.54x

2016

Unilever (LON:ULVR)

1,796

3.3%

1.44x

No

National Grid (LON:NG.)

1,751

5.1%

1.19x

No

Diageo (LON:DGE)

1,598

2.4%

1.60x

No

Imperial Brands (LON:IMB)

1,303

9.0%

1.86x

2020

Reckitt Benckiser (LON:RB.)

1,251

2.4%

1.74x

No

Aviva (LON:AV.)

1,251

11.7%

1.52x

2012, 2013, 2019

Legal & General (LON:LGEN)

1,079

8.3%

1.65x

No

RELX (LON:REL)

902

2.4%

1.88x

No

Glencore (LON:GLEN)

887

4.0%

0.59x

2015, 2016, 2020

Prudential (LON:PRU)

879

2.9%

3.77x

2019

SSE (LON:SSE)

832

5.7%

1.12x

2019


 

Quick facts: AstraZeneca

Price: 7943 GBX

LSE:AZN
Market: LSE
Market Cap: £104.24 billion
Follow

Add related topics to MyProactive

Create your account: sign up and get ahead on news and events

NO INVESTMENT ADVICE

The Company is a publisher. You understand and agree that no content published on the Site constitutes a recommendation that any particular security, portfolio of securities, transaction, or investment strategy is...

FOR OUR FULL DISCLAIMER CLICK HERE

Touchstone Exploration presents at the One2One Proactive virtual conference

Touchstone Exploration's (LON:TXP) Paul Baay pitches to investors at the Proactive One2One virtual conference. Touchstone Exploration Inc. is a Canadian-based, international upstream oil and gas company currently active in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. It is one of the largest...

11 hours, 28 minutes ago

3 min read