New high-dividend opportunities
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Christine St Anne is Morningstar's online editor.
Russell Investments has discovered new income opportunities following the rebalancing of its high-dividend exchange-traded fund (ETF), the Russell High Dividend Index (RDV).
The RDV is rebalanced on a semi-annual basis. Stocks included in this index need to perform against Russell's dividend index criteria, including future dividends, historical yields, dividend growth and earnings-per-share (EPS) variability.
Following this reconstitution, high-dividend stocks were found across the market, including in the defensive and cyclical sectors.
"There are plenty of opportunities across the market for investors to gain exposure to quality yield," Russell portfolio manager Scott Bennett says.
APA Group is a natural gas infrastructure business that delivers over half of Australia's domestic gas usage.
"APA Group ticks all the boxes of our index construction methodology and its more predictable, highly defensive income stream means APA is more likely to appeal to investors preferring reliable income over capital growth," Bennett says.
APA's dividends, however, do not include franking credits, but Bennett says its yield of 7.2 per cent is still impressive.
On the other side of the spectrum, Bennett has identified cyclical company Seven West Media as another stock that is yielding relatively high dividends.
The stock has delivered a current 12-month trailing yield of around 17.5 per cent. However, Russell has taken only a moderate position in this highly cyclical stock.
"While it has a higher risk profile than many of the other stocks included in the index, having such an overwhelmingly high yield means taking up a moderate position in this stock should provide a solid opportunity for investors," Bennett says.
There are many high-yielding opportunities in the cyclical consumer discretionary sector, but Bennett says investors need to be careful when choosing stocks in this sector.
"They are not the best places to go hunting for yield given their cyclicality. We wouldn't encourage people to build an income portfolio around consumer discretionary stocks," Bennett says.
The Australian real estate investment trust (AREIT) space is another sector Bennett says offers good yield opportunities.
However, Bennett says these AREITS are still delivering attractive yields in the range of 5.5 per cent to 6.7 per cent.