HomeInvestingThe Legal & General dividend outlook just got clearer!

The Legal & General dividend outlook just got clearer!

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One of many points of interest of proudly owning shares in Authorized & Normal (LSE: LGEN) is its dividend. Certainly, I might say the Authorized & Normal dividend is a key attraction. In any case, the monetary providers agency’s share value has sunk 13% over the previous 5 years. Throughout that interval, the FTSE 100 index (of which it’s a member) rose 12%.

At this time (12 June), the corporate set out plans to boost its dividend yearly in coming years. The Metropolis was not impressed and the share value is down 4% as I write this on Wednesday morning.

Revenue share with profitable observe file

Earlier than we glance forward, let’s look backwards.

Authorized & Normal has a protracted historical past of paying juicy dividends. The final time it lower its payout per share was within the wake of the 2008 monetary disaster. Since then it has raised it yearly besides one, through the pandemic, when it held it flat.

It laid out a plan to boost the dividend per share by 5% yearly between then and this 12 months, which it has carried out.

In in the present day’s announcement, the corporate confirmed it plans to boost the dividend per share by 5% this 12 months. After that, till 2027, it plans to maintain elevating the payout – however by the markedly decrease quantity of two%.

That’s only a plan – dividends are by no means assured. If one other monetary disaster rocks investor confidence, for instance, there’s a threat the dividend could possibly be lower once more.

Is that this dangerous information or not?

The Metropolis didn’t react nicely to the plan. It suggests administration has a weaker focus than earlier than on dividend development, so the response is comprehensible.

The corporate mentioned it plans to “return extra to shareholders” in 2024-27. That’s poor wording as “extra” right here is unhelpfully imprecise. However as the corporate additionally plans ongoing share buybacks, my interpretation of that is that it expects complete capital return to shareholders to develop within the interval in comparison with the prior fee, attributable to a mix of dividends and buybacks.

Shopping for again and cancelling shares can imply firms are capable of spend much less in complete on dividends even whereas elevating the dividend per share (as M&G proved in recent times).

Whereas I discover the plan disappointing, it is usually vital to notice that it’s not a lower. The corporate nonetheless goals to continue to grow the dividend per share every year, simply at a decrease clip than now.

Provided that it has an 8.7% dividend yield now, that would imply it finally turns into much more profitable down the street.

Dampened enthusiasm, however nonetheless a excessive yield

I nonetheless just like the agency’s robust model, massive buyer base and confirmed enterprise mannequin. At this time’s announcement gave additional causes for optimism, from a give attention to rising the asset administration enterprise to strengthening the enchantment of what the agency affords retail prospects from a lifelong perspective.

The excessive yield remains to be very juicy.

I can’t assist feeling that the board is successfully downgrading the significance it attaches to development within the dividend although. Nonetheless, if I had spare cash to speculate, I might be pleased to purchase the shares.


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