Are 7% yields too good to be true? These 2 high-yielders beg to differ

The Motley Fool
Berkeley Group
Berkeley Group

We all know that being tempted by high yields can be like chasing the crock of gold at the end of a rainbow. But share sell-offs post-Brexit vote and other factors mean some shares look good value and some yields look quite compelling today.


Residential housebuilder Berkeley Group (LSE: BKG) was one of the big casualties of the Brexit vote earlier this year with its share price plummeting 31% within a fortnight of the referendum result. Along with others in the housebuilding sector, Berkeley's shares have recovered a little since the post referendum sell-off, but at around £25 they're still trading at a significant discount to the highs of £37.57 reached last December. Can investors hope for a speedy recovery for Berkeley's shares, or is this the start of a long-term slump?

Earnings visibility

At its annual general meeting last month, the Surrey-based property developer issued a trading update covering two months either side of the EU referendum from 1 May to 31 August. The group said it entered 2016/17 with record cash due on forward sales of £3.25bn, and expects to deliver £2bn in pre-tax profits over the three-year period ending on 30 April 2018, having delivered the first £500m of this in the last financial year ended 30 April.

This visibility of earnings and cash flow also underpins the mid-cap firm's dividend plan, which after last month's £1 per share interim payment, brings the total returns paid to shareholders since 2011 to £6.34, with a further £10 per share to be paid evenly over the remaining five years to September 2021. Notwithstanding the uncertainties associated with the surprise result of the EU referendum, Berkeley still looks oversold to me with a price-to-earnings ratio below seven, and supported by a 7.8% prospective dividend yield covered almost twice by earnings.

Contract wins

The share price of integrated support services firm Carillion (LSE: CLLN) has seen some ups and downs this year. But it looks good value after it announced on Tuesday that it had been selected by Nationwide Building Society to provide facilities management services at its branches and offices in a deal worth around £350m. The new seven-year contract builds on an existing partnership of almost nine years, and has the potential to be extended for a further three years. Under the new deal Carillion will provide a wide range of facilities management and workplace services for Nationwide's head office in Swindon, as well as its 15 corporate offices, critical data centres and 700 retail branches across the UK.

The news comes on the back of last month's announcement that the Wolverhampton-based firm had extended its partnership with utilities giant Centrica for another five years to deliver facilities management and project services, in a deal worth £90m. Prior to these announcements the FTSE 250 firm had posted an encouraging set of first half results, boasting a 24% rise in pre-tax profits led by a rise in sales and margin growth in its support services division from which the company derives more than half its total revenue.

Carillion's attractive valuation and meaty dividend make it a compelling buy for both value investors and income seekers with the shares trading at just seven times earnings for 2017, and offering a rising dividend payout currently yielding well over 7% and covered almost twice by forecast earnings.

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Bilaal Mohamed has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Berkeley Group Holdings. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.