I’m scouring the FTSE 250 for the best dividend stocks to buy this November. These two UK shares offer gigantic yields, sure. But are they a risk too far?
6.8% dividend yields
Financial product comparison website Moneysupermarket.com (LSE: MONY) had to bang its progressive dividend policy on the head in 2020 following the Covid-19 outbreak. But cheerily, City analysts are expecting shareholder payouts to start rising again from this year. This means the business sports massive yields of 5.8% and 6.8% for 2021 and 2022, respectively.
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Trading at Moneysupermarket hasn’t been exactly rosy of late, however. Revenues tanked 10% in the three months to September, the withdrawal of energy tariffs by many suppliers smashing turnover at its home services division. Meanwhile sales at its insurance unit dropped as home and car insurance markets weakened. These divisions account for almost three-quarters of group income.
The question is, do Moneysupermarket’s massive yields still make it an attractive stock to buy? Not in my book, I’m afraid. Sure, it has arguably the strongest branding in its marketplace. This puts it in the box seat to exploit the growing product switching culture in Britain.
But I’m afraid that those recent headwinds could be set to persist, putting profits at Moneysupermarket (and by extension those huge yields) in serious danger. I’d rather buy other less-risky dividend shares today like Primary Health Properties (LSE: PHP).
In ruder health
Dividend yields here aren’t as impressive as those of Moneysupermarket. For 2021, this sits at 4%, and for 2022 at 4.2%. But this particular UK share has many of the qualities I seek in an income stock.
As the name suggests, this company owns and operates primary healthcare facilities like GP surgeries. Such properties remain in constant use at all points of the economic cycle, providing stable profits and reliable cash flows with which it can fund shareholder payouts. Indeed, Primary Health Properties raised the annual dividend 5.4% year-on-year (to 5.9p) in 2020 even as the Covid-19 crisis obliterated the broader economy.
Primary Health Properties has a long record of dividend growth behind it, too. It has lifted the annual reward for 24 years on the spin. And I think there’s good reason to expect profits and by extension dividends to keep climbing. Demand for healthcare services looks on course to grow and grow as Britain’s population steadily ages. Meanwhile, government policy intended to divert patients away from hospitals and to primary healthcare facilities also means companies like this are gaining increasing importance.
My only concern for Primary Healthcare Properties is that projected dividends for the next couple of years are barely covered by dividends. Coverage of 1 times sits way, way below the widely-regarded security benchmark of 2 times. Any earnings trouble could therefore cause dividends to fall short of forecasts.
That said, I believe the risk-to-reward outlook for this FTSE 250 share remains compelling. I think this is one of the best dividend stocks to buy right now for my portfolio.