3 Investing Heroes Set To Deliver Explosive Dividend Returns In 2015: Royal Dutch Shell Plc, BAE Systems plc & NEXT plc

Today I am looking at three blue-chip superstars set to deliver smashing returns in 2015.

Royal Dutch Shell

After the effect of the 2008/2009 financial meltdown harpooned Royal Dutch Shell’s (LSE: RDSB) dividend policy — the business kept the full-year payment locked for three consecutive years following the blowout — a scheme of significant asset divestment and cost-cutting has allowed the oil giant to get its progressive scheme back on track.

Indeed, the strength of Shell’s balance sheet has seen it raise the payout even in spite of continued earnings weakness. For this year the fruits of significant restructuring is expected to drive earnings 33% higher, in turn helping the full-year dividend rise 1% to 182 US cents per share. And even though a 5% bottom line dip is predicted for 2015, the oil giant is anticipated to push the payout 4% higher to 189 cents.

As a consequence, Shell’s delicious yield of 5.3% for this year — far above the FTSE 100 3.3% forward average — shoots to an even more appetising 5.5% for 2015.

Of course the question remains over how long the fossil fuel leviathan can keep its positive dividend policy on track for should crude prices maintain their downward trajectory. But in the medium term at least, Shell’s ongoing divestment drive should keep shareholder rewards trekking skywards.

BAE Systems

Despite a period of extreme earnings volatility during the past five years, BAE Systems’ (LSE: BA) ability to generate shedloads of cash has enabled it to keep yearly dividend growth rolling. Indeed, the defence giant has lifted the dividend at a compound annual growth rate of 5.9% during the past five years.

Even though budgetary constraints across key Western customers are expected to result in further earnings woe this year — a 14% decline is currently pencilled in by the number crunchers — the weapons builder is still expected to lift the full-year payout an extra 0.5% to 20.2p per share. And a 6% earnings improvement drives the projected dividend to 20.7p in 2015, up 2.5%.

Subsequently BAE Systems sports a chunky yield of 4.2% for 2014, and which moves to 4.3% for 2015.

With an environment of military unrest across the globe — from ISIS rebel advances in the Middle East through to fears of a new Cold War between East and West — promising to keep sales from traditional clients ticking higher, I believe that payout growth at BAE Systems should keep rising for years to come.


Against a backcloth of stunning double-digit earnings growth, fashion retailer NEXT (LSE: NXT) has been able to handsomely reward its shareholders with a steady stream of special dividends and share buybacks in recent times.

As a result of these special payouts, NEXT’s full-year dividend for 2014 is expected to leap a mammoth 131% to 298p per share, underpinned by a further 13% earnings advance. And despite a slight earnings slowdown in 2015, to 9%, the clothing house is still predicted to lift the payment 14% in 2015 to 339p.

Based on these projections, a sizeable 4.4% yield flies to an even more impressive 5% for 2015.

But I would not be surprised to see eventual payouts exceed these projections given NEXT’s continued sales and profits guidance-smashing performances. Given the breakneck progress of the company’s NEXT Directory online and catalogue operations, not to mention its aggressive expansion into overseas markets, I believe the retailer should continue throwing up market-busting yields.

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Royston Wild owns shares of Next. 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.