December dividend forecasts – SSE, National Grid, BT Group

Dividend forecast National Grid SSE

This is my last set of dividend forecasts for this month. I’ll add more stocks to the list to look at regularly next year.

Today, I’m looking at utility giants SSE and National Grid, as well as telecommunications group BT.

All figures are sourced from Stockopedia.

SSE

Analysts currently expect SSE to pay the following dividends:

2018 – 94.3p per share
2019 – 97.1p per share

At the current share price of 1,320p, those payouts equate to yields of 7.1% and 7.4%.

Those yields are HIGH! They’re getting to the point where they suggest the market has doubts about the dividend.

In the last month, analysts have upgraded their 2018 dividend estimates by 0.094p and upgraded their 2019 forecasts by 0.16p.

National Grid

Analysts currently expect National Grid to pay the following dividends:

2018 – 46.4p per share
2019 – 47.4p per share

At the current share price of 880p, those payouts equate to yields of 5.3% and 5.4%.

In the last month, analysts have downgraded their 2018 forecasts by 0.47p and downgraded their 2019 by 0.38p.

BT Group

Lastly, analysts currently expect BT Group to pay the following dividends:

2018 – 15.7p per share
2019 – 16.4p per share

At the current share price of 258p, those payouts equate to yields of 6.1% and 6.4%.

In the last month, analysts have downgraded their 2018 dividend estimate by 0.049p and downgraded their 2019 estimate by 0.079p.

Which is the best dividend stock?

I don’t own any of these stocks. However, from those three, the stock that looks most attractive to me from a dividend investing point of view is National Grid. The yield looks attractive, and the company has a strong history of slow and steady dividend increases. I’ve been considering buying the stock recently, but haven’t pulled the trigger yet.

SSE’s yield looks dangerously high to me. Investors are clearly concerned about government intervention / price caps. BT has a huge pension deficit. I covered it here. That has implications for future dividend payments so I’ll be steering clear of BT for now.

Disclosure: Edward Sheldon, CFA has no position in any companies mentioned. 

This article is provided for general information only and is not intended to be investment advice. The value of an investment may fall. The investments referred to in this article may not be suitable for all investors, and if in doubt, an investor should seek advice from a qualified investment adviser.

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