Housebuilding stocks have become known for their high dividend yields. But I estimate that FTSE 100 firm Taylor Wimpey (LSE: TW) may have the highest forecast dividend yield of any stock in the FTSE 350.
In a trading statement today, the builder confirmed plans to return £600m to shareholders via dividends in 2019. My sums indicate that this equates to a payout of 18p per share. At the last-seen share price of 160p, that would give a dividend yield of 11.3%.
What’s going on?
Taylor Wimpey’s share price has fallen by around 20% so far this year, as the market has continued to price in lower profits for housebuilders.
The problem is that so far, there’s no evidence profits are falling. Today’s statement is a good example. Chief executive Pete Redfern says that political uncertainty is dampening sales in the south east, but that overall sales rates for the group have remained unchanged during the second half of the year. The firm’s current order book is for 9,783 homes, 12% higher than at the same point in 2017.
Although build costs are expected to rise by 3%-4% in 2018, this is in line previous estimates. The outlook for profits in 2018 is also unchanged. Based on broker consensus forecasts, this suggests that adjusted earnings should rise by about 5% in 2018.
Buy, sell or hold?
Mr Redfern struck a cautious note on 2019 today, suggesting that sales will be flat next year. However, to my mind, the real question is whether housebuilders can handle the planned tapering of the Help to Buy scheme, which is now due to end in 2023.
My view is that if the economy remains stable after Brexit, housebuilders could continue to trade well for a little longer yet. Many are shifting their focus to more affordable homes and towards the rental market, while developing lower-cost building methods.
Although Taylor Wimpey shares certainly aren’t without risk, I suspect there could be some value available at current levels.
Another possible choice
I’m limiting my exposure to housebuilders to a small part of my portfolio. If you’re taking a similarly cautious approach, you may want to consider another unloved high-yield stock.
Gaming software specialist Playtech (LSE: PTEC) has fallen by about 45% this year after warning on profits. So there was welcome news for shareholders this week, when the firm said that expectations for the full year remain unchanged from August.
Despite this reassurance, investors haven’t been rushing to buy the shares. Playtech’s share price remains at levels not seen since 2013.
One reason for this caution may be that the company’s exposure to the Asian market remains a worry. Revenue forecasts for Asia were cut in the summer. And although management now says that Asian revenue has “stabilised” at about €150m per year, it’s not yet clear to me how this will affect the firm’s profitability.
A speculative buy?
Broker forecasts put Playtech on a 2018 forecast P/E of 9.1 with a dividend yield of 6.8%.
Earnings are expected to rise by 17% in 2019, giving a prospective P/E of 7.7 and a yield of 7.6% for next year.
This business has historically generated strong levels of free cash flow, providing good cover for its dividend. If this record can be maintained then I think the shares could be a recovery buy at current levels.