4 Stocks With Dividend Record Date On 4 October 2019 – SMDS, SN, TW, WPP

DS Smith PLC

DS Smith PLC (SMDS) is a specialist in plastic packaging worldwide and is a leading provider of corrugated packaging, with operations in more than 37 countries, which operates as a unified company with divisions in the paper, plastics, packaging and recycling. The company is also regarded as the industry benchmark in Supply Cycle strategy and packaging. The company has a recycling business that collects corrugated cardboard and used paper, from which corrugated packaging materials are manufactured in the company’s manufacturing facilities. The packaging business is differentiated in six segments, namely UK, Western Europe, DCH & Northern Europe, Central Europe & Italy, North America, and Plastics.

Key Financial Highlights (FY 2019, in £m)

 (Source: Company Filings)

For the financial year ending 30th April 2019, the company’s reported revenue was up by 12% to £6,171 million against £5,518 million in FY2018. The growth in revenue was due to organic growth from Europac and Interstate Resources. In the FY2019 period, the company’s adjusted operating profit stood at £631 million versus £492 million in FY2018. The group’s operating profit increased by £98 million to £427 million in FY2019 from £329 million in FY2018. The company’s adjusted PBT (Profit before Tax) surged by 31% to £569 million in FY2019. The company’s reported PBT (Profit before Tax) increased to £350 million in FY2019 from £260 million in the financial year 2018. The Adjusted Basic Earnings per Share from continuing operations rose to 33.3 pence in FY2019 against the 30.7 pence in FY2018. The total dividend per share increased by 13% to 16.2 pence in FY2019.

Dividend

To shareholders on the register at close of business on 4 October 2019, final dividend of 11.0 pence (2017/18: 9.8 pence) will be paid on 1 November 2019, taking the total dividend for the year to 16.2 pence (2017/18: 14.4 pence) and the dividend was in accordance with the policy of dividend cover of between 2.0 and 2.5 times.

Share Price Commentary

On 04 October 2019, at the time of writing (at 2:14 pm GMT, before the closing of market), SMDS shares was trading at GBX 327.3, up by 0.64 per cent against the last day closing price. Stock’s 52 weeks High and Low is GBX 466.80/GBX 285.83. The outstanding market capitalisation was around £4.45 billion, with a dividend yield of 4.98 per cent.

Smith & Nephew PLC

Smith & Nephew PLC (SN) develops medical technology devices. The company is engaged in endoscopy, orthopaedics, and advanced wound management. The company’s services and products comprise AET (Arthroscopic Enabling Technologies), Knee Implants, Advanced Wound Bioactives, Trauma & Extremities, Sports Medicine Joint Repair, Advanced Wound Devices, Advanced Wound Care, Hip Implants, and Other Surgical Businesses. The group is a member of the FTSE 100 and FTSE techMARK index.

Key Financial Highlights (H1 2019, in $m)

(Source: Company Filings)

In the first half of 2019, the reported revenue increased by 1.8% to $2,485 million as compared with the corresponding period of the last year, due to the growth in foreign exchange and benefit from the acquisition, while on an underlying basis, revenue surged by 3.9%. Operating profit increased to $419 million against the $372 million in H1 FY18. In the first half of 2019, the ongoing APEX (Accelerating Performance and Execution) programme incurred restructuring costs of $48 million, with incremental benefits as compared with the corresponding period of the last year. Adjusted earnings per share (EPSA) rose by 5% to 45.8 cents against the 43.7 cents in H1 FY18. Basic earnings per share stood at 35.3 cents, an increase from the previous year same period data. Cash generated from operations increased to $543 million and trading cash flow increased to $405 million. The trading profit to cash conversion ratio stood at 76% and remained flat against the same period in 2018. The net interest charge stood at $25 million with $2 million from the implementation of IFRS 16 Leases.

Dividend

To all the shareholders on the register at the close of business on 4 October 2019, the interim dividend of 14.4¢ per share or 11.5p per share will be paid on 30 October 2019, representing an increase of 2.9% on last year (H1 2018: 14.0¢ per share) and consistent with the policy of 40% of the total dividend for the previous year.

Share Price Commentary

On 04 October 2019, at the time of writing (at 2:16 pm GMT, before the closing of market), SN shares was trading at GBX 1,865.0, up by 0.75 per cent against the last day closing price. Stock’s 52 weeks High and Low is GBX 1,998.40/GBX 1,242.50. The outstanding market capitalisation was around £16.15 billion, with a dividend yield of 1.54 per cent.

Taylor Wimpey PLC

Taylor Wimpey PLC (TW) is a Wycombe, United Kingdom-headquartered leading residential housing developer in the United Kingdom with a small operation in Spain as well. The group operates at a regional level from 24 local offices across the country, and builds a wide range of high-quality properties, with a broad price range. The operations of the group are differentiated in four geographical segments, namely North, Central & South West, London & South East, and Spain.

Financial Highlights (H1 FY 2019, in £m)

 (Source: Company Filings)

In the first half of the financial year 2019, revenue surged by 0.8% to £1,732.7 million against £1,719.8 million in H1 2018 driven by an improvement in the UK average selling prices which were up by 1.6% to £261k (H1 2018: £257k), and an increase of 1.0% in UK volumes to 6,432 completions (H1 2018: 6,367). In H1 2019, the company completed 6,541 homes versus 6,497 homes in H1 2018. As blended build cost per unit in the UK rose by 6.1% to £152.5k (H1 2018: £143.7k), UK gross profit per completion declined to £61.2k for the period, while group’s gross profit of £409.6 million (H1 2018: £445.0 million) was down by 8.0%. Operating profit also declined by 9.4% from £344.3 million in H1 2018 to £311.9 million in H1 2019, which corresponded to an operating profit margin of 18.0% (H1 2018: 20.0%). Profit before exceptional items for the half-year declined by 10.1% to £242.0 million (H1 2018: £269.1 million), while profit before tax and exceptional items for the period decreased by 9.4% to £299.8 million (H1 2018: £331.0 million). The profit for the period was at £242 million in H1 2019 as against £244.5 million in H1 2018.

Dividend

To all owners on the register at the close of business on 4 October 2019, interim dividend of 3.84 pence per share is to be paid on 8 November 2019 (H1 2018: 2.44 pence per share), which is in line with the policy of the group to pay ordinary dividend of approximately 7.5% of Group net assets.

Share Price Commentary

On 04 October 2019, at the time of writing (at 2:17 pm GMT, before the closing of market), TW share was trading at GBX 149.70, down by 0.63 per cent against the last day closing price. Stock’s 52 weeks High and Low is GBX 180.51/GBX 119.72. The outstanding market capitalisation was around £4.93 billion, with a dividend yield of 5.07 per cent.

WPP PLC

WPP PLC (WPP) is a British holding company which is a world leader in communications services and comprises of companies in a range of disciplines, with world-leading position in communications, experience, commerce and technology. The group is listed on the London Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange and is a constituent of FTSE 100 index. The operations of the company are organised into four reportable segments, namely Public Relations & Public Affairs, Advertising and Media Investment Management, Data Investment Management, and Brand Consulting, Health & Wellness and Specialist Communications.

Financial Highlights (H1 FY 2019, in £m)

Reported revenue was up by 1.6% to £7,616 million, it declined by 0.6% on a like-for-like basis, while reported billings were down by 0.5% to £26,533 million, and down by 2.0% in constant currency. During the period, like-for-like revenue less pass-through costs were down by 2.0%, while it remained constant at reported basis to £6,149 million, though revenue less pass-through costs improved in key markets in the second quarter. Headline operating profit was down by 6.8% and declined by 8.0% in constant currency basis to £730 million, and headline EBITDA decreased by 7.7% to £875 million, down by 8.9% in constant currency. Due to a significant exceptional gain reported in the prior year that was repeated, reported profit before tax decreased by 43.5% to £478 million from £846 million in H1 2018, and was down 44.1% in constant currency, while headline profit before tax declined by 17.6% to £605 million from £735 million in the previous year and was down by 18.4% in constant currency terms. Diluted reported earnings per share declined by 53.6% to 24.8p from 53.4p and by 54.3% in constant currency, while diluted headline earnings per share were down by 19.7% to 34.2p from 42.6p and by 20.9% in constant currency.

Dividend

To all shareholders on the register at the close of business on 4 October 2019, an interim dividend of 22.7p per share will be paid on 4 November 2019, keeping in line with the payout ratio of 66% recorded last year.

Share Price Commentary

On 04 October 2019, at the time of writing (at 2:19 pm GMT, before the closing of market), WPP share was trading at GBX 961.8, up by 0.27 per cent against the last day closing price. Stock’s 52 weeks High and Low is GBX 1,146.00/GBX 791.00. The outstanding market capitalisation was around £12.08 billion, with a dividend yield of 6.26 per cent.

 

Comparative share price chart of SMDS, SN, TW and WPP

 (Source: Thomson Reuters)