I’ve long lauded the safety and environmental equipment manufacturer’s exceptional growth credentials, a quality which has proved the bedrock to its ultra-progressive dividend policy. And judging from latest trading numbers, there’s plenty of reason to expect earnings, and thus payouts, to continue marching on.
Halma recently declared that “all sectors delivered organic constant currency revenue and profit growth,” with its Medical and Environmental & Analysis divisions having produced “strong growth” and its Process Safety and Infrastructure Safety arms having “performed well” too.
This exceptional performance across the board leads City analysts to predict an 8% profits rise in the 12 months to March 2019, and with Halma also advising that “order intake was ahead of revenue and also ahead of the same period last year” from April 1 to September 27, the number crunchers feel emboldened enough to suggest another 8% earnings advance for next year as well.
Consequently dividends are anticipated to rise to 15.7p per share in fiscal 2019 from 14.68p last year, and to 16.9p in the following period. Yields of 1.2% and 1.3% for this year and next may not be the biggest around, but the probability of the health and safety giant delivering sustained and significant dividend expansion in the medium term and beyond still makes it a hot pick for all serious income chasers.
Super saving star
Hargreaves Lansdown (LSE: HL) is another dividend growth hero whose latest set of financials has reinforced my prior bullishness.
It’s true that the investment services provider is trading in choppy waters right now, Hargreaves Lansdown commenting that an “uncertain market environment and weak investor sentiment” had caused “an industry-wide slowdown in net retail flows” in the last quarter. But thanks to its leading market position the Footsie firm still managed to report a 3% improvement in assets under administration from June to September, to £94.1bn.
City analysts are anticipating another hefty profits push in the year to June 2019, by 15% on this occasion, and unsurprisingly this leads to predictions of more dividend growth. Last year’s 40p per share reward is predicted to swell to 45.8p for the current period, resulting in a handy yield of 2.6%. I’m expecting Hargreaves Lansdown to continue making progress in both profits and dividends columns after this period too, as demand for its services from UK savers looks poised to keep springing higher.
Now Halma doesn’t come cheap thanks to its prospective P/E ratio of 25.7 times. And neither does Hargreaves Lansdown because of its corresponding earnings multiple of 31.2 times. But I believe that both are worthy of premium ratings, and that recent share price weakness at the businesses makes them hot dip buys at the moment.
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Royston Wild has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Halma and Hargreaves Lansdown. 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.