Will Brexit batter dividends at Banco Santander SA, International Consolidated Airlns Grp SA and Crest Nicholson Holdings plc?

Royston Wild considers the payout prospects of Banco Santander SA (LON: BNC), International Consolidated Airlns Grp SA (LON: IAG) and Crest Nicholson Holdings plc (LON: CRST).

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Banking behemoth Santander (LSE: BNC) shocked the market in January 2015 by slashing dividends to mend its broken balance sheet. And investor confidence hasn’t really recovered since then.

Indeed, Santander’s stock price hurtled back to levels not seen since February following last week’s shock Brexit vote, a fall that came as little surprise — the UK is now Santander’s largest single market.

Meanwhile, Britain’s self-implemented ejection is also casting doubt over the health of the rest of Europe, territories to which Santander also has significant exposure.

And the bad news just keeps on coming for Santander. Yesterday the bank failed US capital stress tests for the second time, the Federal Reserve warnings of “broad and substantial weaknesses” in its capital planning.

With the bank also facing massive upheaval in Latin America, I believe Santander’s previous pledge of a 20-euro-cents-per-share dividend for 2016 could come under significant pressure. And consequently a 5.8% yield isn’t enough to tempt me.

Bargain beauty?

Shares in the travel sector have also come under severe pressure as the impact of Brexit on holiday-related spending comes under the spotlight.

International Consolidated Airlines (LSE: IAG) for one is still dealing at a 30% discount to last Thursday’s close.

The company warned on Friday that “following the outcome of the referendum, and given current market volatility, while IAG continues to expect a significant increase in operating profit this year, it no longer expects to generate an absolute operating profit increase similar to 2015.”

Still, I reckon selling activity could be vastly overdone.

Sure, an EU exit could make a significant dent in holiday demand looking ahead, particularly if travellers switch airlines to conserve cash and postpone long-haul holidays in favour of trips to the continent. This could have significant ramifications for British Airways in particular.

But IAG’s exposure to the fast-growing budget market, through Vueling and its recent purchase of Aer Lingus, should help take the edge off of such a scenario. And transatlantic travel is likely to remain robust as the weakened pound encourages overseas travellers.

Warnings of lower-than-previously-expected profit growth could weigh on IAG’s dividends in the near term, naturally. But I believe broker forecasts of a 27.3 euro cents per share payout for 2016, yielding a handsome 6.2%, is still an attractive proposition.

Build a fortune

The entire housebuilding sector also remains under the cosh as the possibility of higher mortgage payments and diving home prices has weighed.

But I believe the likes of Crest Nicholson (LSE: CRST) remain lucrative long-term stock candidates. After all, Britain’s housing shortage isn’t going to go away in a hurry despite government pledges to boost construction activity.

Against this backcloth, Crest Nicholson is expected to pay a 27.6p per share dividend in 2016. And a subsequent yield of 8% merits serious attention, in my opinion.

Should you invest, the value of your investment may rise or fall and your capital is at risk. Before investing, your individual circumstances should be assessed. Consider taking independent financial advice.

Royston Wild has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.

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