High Dividend Stocks and Value Investing
Barron’s recently ran an article (written by Research Affiliates), which is titled “Get Smart About Picking Dividend-Rich Stocks.” The article highlights that high-quality high-dividend-paying stocks outperform low-quality high-dividend-paying stocks. The quality of the firm is measured by profitability, financial distress, and accounting red flags.
We investigate a Simpler Way to Identify Top-Performing Dividend Stocks
We sort the high dividend-paying firms by a simple value investing measure–EBIT/TEV. We choose this value investing measure based on our own research discussed here.
First, let’s set up the experiment.
We examine all firms above the NYSE 40th percentile for market-cap (currently around $1.8 billion) to avoid weird empirical effects associated with micro/small cap stocks. We form the portfolios at a annual frequency with the following 2 variables:
- Dividend Yield = Cash dividends / market capitalization. Assessed on 6/30 each year.
- Value = EBIT/(Total Enterprise Value). Assessed on 6/30 each year.
Here we describe the four portfolios we examine. All portfolios are annually rebalanced on 6/30 each year.
- Top Div. Quintile, High Value EW = Top quintile of firms on dividend yield, then choosing the top half on Value. Portfolio is equal-weighted.
- Top Div. Quintile, Low Value EW = Top quintile of firms on dividend yield, then choosing the bottom half on Value. Portfolio is equal-weighted.
- Top Div. Quintile EW = Top quintile of firms on dividend yield. Portfolio is equal-weighted.
- Universe EW = Total return on the universe of securities. Portfolio is equal-weighted.
Results are gross of management fees and transaction costs. All returns are total returns and include the reinvestment of distributions (e.g., dividends).
Here are the returns (1/1/1964-12/31/2014):
Value Investing Portfolio Results:
- The top quintile of dividend paying firms outperformed the universe over the past 50 years when comparing CAGR, Sharpe and Sortino ratios (comparing column 3 to column 4)
- Splitting high dividend-paying firms by value worked historically. Column 1 (top dividend payers, high value) outperformed column 2 (top dividend payers, low value) across all performance measures — CAGR, Sharpe and Sortino ratios.
The results suggest that a sort on a simple value investing measure works well at sorting dividend stocks. Compared to the more complex quality screen proposed by Barron’s, this sorting variable is a good alternative for investors who prefer high dividend stocks.***
Please remember that past performance is not an indicator of future results. Please read our full disclaimer. The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Alpha Architect, its affiliates or its employees. This material has been provided to you solely for information and educational purposes and does not constitute an offer or solicitation of an offer or any advice or recommendation to purchase any securities or other financial instruments and may not be construed as such. The factual information set forth herein has been obtained or derived from sources believed by the author and Alpha Architect to be reliable but it is not necessarily all-inclusive and is not guaranteed as to its accuracy and is not to be regarded as a representation or warranty, express or implied, as to the information’s accuracy or completeness, nor should the attached information serve as the basis of any investment decision. No part of this material may be reproduced in any form, or referred to in any other publication, without express written permission from Alpha Architect.***
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