Market appetite International Consolidated Airlines Group (LSE: IAG) has sparked into life in recent weeks, the company soaring to four-month peaks in late October.
This is in spite of the British Airways and Iberia operator announcing in recent days that sterling weakness — a problem that threatens to persist long into the future — caused a €162m profit dent during July to September.
Indeed, investors were encouraged by IAG’s robustness in the face of an array of problems in 2016, including terrorism-related incidents, air traffic control strikes, and the fallout of Britain choosing to exit the EU. Total revenues edged 0.9% higher during the first nine months of the year, to €17.3bn.
Despite its recent share price jump, the FTSE 100 flyer still trades at a significant discount to levels seen on the eve of the Brexit referendum. And this has leant further weight to IAG’s reputation as an attractive dividend stock.
The business is expected to produce a full-year payout of 21.8 euro cents per share in 2016, a figure that yields a stunning 4.5%. By comparison the British blue chip average stands closer to 3.5%.
And although IAG is expected to endure a 3% earnings dip next year — swinging from a predicted 12% rise in the current period – the company is expected to keep dividends chugging higher. A 22.2 cent reward is anticipated for 2017, driving the yield to an even-chunkier 4.6%.
And why not? After all, IAG’s global wingspan creates plenty of opportunities to generate long-term growth, particularly as transatlantic travel remains solid and holiday demand in emerging markets gathers pace.
And the operator’s exposure to the low-cost sub-segment through Aer Lingus and Vueling provides its earnings outlook with an extra layer of security. I believe this market that should continue to fly higher even if economic conditions worsen, lighting a fire under demand for cheap plane tickets.
While WPP (LSE: WPP) may not boast the market-mashing yields of IAG, the firm’s ultra-progressive dividend policy has still made it a compelling attraction for many income hunters.
For 2016 the advertising giant is anticipated to turbocharge the payout again, lifting it to 54.8p per share from 44.69p last year. And another hefty rise is predicted for 2017, to 61.7p.
Clearly, subsequent dividend yields of 3.2% and 3.6% may not pummel the big-cap competition but they do demonstrate the potential for electric returns in the coming years.
These forecasts are underpinned by WPP’s excellent earnings record, a trend the City expects to persist during the medium term at least — rises of 15% and 12% are expected for 2016 and 2017 respectively.
And with good reason, in my opinion. The Martin Sorrell-steered business announced this week that revenues shot 23.4% higher during July-September, to £3.6bn, WPP reaping the fruits of its vast international presence. Indeed, the company noted “particularly strong growth geographically in Western Continental Europe and Asia Pacific, Latin America, Africa & the Middle East and Central & Eastern Europe.”
I believe WPP is a white-hot pick for both growth and income chasers.
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.