Today, I’m looking at two dividend stocks that are owned by Britain’s best known portfolio manager, Neil Woodford. Both stocks currently yield over 5%. Could these stocks help you boost your dividend income stream?
Legal & General Group
Woodford is clearly bullish on the prospects for Legal & General (LSE: LGEN), as at the end of March, the company was the third-largest holding in his Equity Income fund with a weight of 4.9%. Personally, I share his enthusiasm towards the stock, as I believe it’s one of the best dividend stocks in the FTSE 100 index today.
Legal & General is a well-managed company with significant expertise in retirement solutions, investment management and insurance. I particularly like the prospects of its retirement solutions arm. The company has specific expertise in the ‘bulk annuity’ market, specialising in taking defined benefit pension schemes off the balance sheets of corporate clients in exchange for a premium. The market for this, both in the UK and the US, is massive, and LGEN looks well placed to capitalise. Last year, it completed £3.4bn worth of UK pension transactions.
From a dividend-investing perspective, it has considerable appeal. The company has established a strong dividend track record over the last eight years, lifting its payout from 4.75p per share for FY2010 to 15.35p per share for FY2017 and City analysts expect the payout to keep growing in the years ahead. At present, analysts forecast a dividend of 16.3p for this year which equates to a yield of 5.8% at the current share price.
Yet despite Legal & General’s attractive prospects, its valuation remains low. Currently, the shares can be picked up on a forward P/E of just 10.3. That’s a bargain, in my opinion.
Another dividend stock that Neil Woodford owns is Stobart Group (LSE: STOB). This is an infrastructure and support services business. It owns and manages a range of key infrastructure sites and operates business divisions that deliver critical support services to the energy, aviation and rail sectors. At the end of March, it was the 14th-largest holding in his Equity Income portfolio with a weight of 2.2%, indicating that the fund manager is bullish on its prospects.
Stobart this morning released full-year results for the period ending 28 February. Revenue jumped 87% to £242m, driven by the acquisition of Stobart Air, while underlying EBITDA soared from £34.4m to £135.2m, boosted by the sale of Eddie Stobart Logistics. The group declared a dividend of 18p per share, which at the current price, translates to a yield of a huge 7.3%. Is Stobart worth buying for its high yield then?
One thing to note about the dividend, is that the high current payout is related to asset disposals. The group has said it is planning to use property asset disposals to support the dividend until 2022, at which point the payout should be supported by income from its aviation, energy and rail operations.
While City analysts do expect another large payout next year, personally, I’d be a little hesitant about investing in Stobart for its dividends right now. I prefer to see more sustainable payouts that are well covered by earnings and operating cash flow, as opposed to those supported by asset disposals. As a result, if picking a 5%+ dividend stock today, I’d choose Legal & General over Stobart.
Edward Sheldon owns shares in Legal & General Group. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.