The recent interest rate cut has brought dividends into sharper focus for many investors. However, this doesn't mean that investors need to focus solely on defensive stocks in the utilities and consumer goods sectors in order to obtain a high yield. There are a number of top notch income plays outside of these sectors that offer high yields and the scope for rapidly rising dividends. Here are two companies that may have gone under your radar as dividend stocks, but that offer excellent long-term income prospects.
The travel industry may be enduring a tough period, but TUI(LSE: TUI) offers excellent dividend growth prospects. That's because it's forecast to increase earnings by 13% in the next financial year and this means that its dividend is due to be covered 1.7 times by profit. This shows that TUI's dividend could increase at a faster pace than its bottom line over the long run. And with inflation set to rise to as much as 2.8% by 2018, real terms dividend growth could become a must-have for income investors.
TUI currently yields 5.1%, which puts it towards the top of the list of the highest yielding FTSE 100 shares. Certainly, its outlook is more uncertain than other more popular income shares due to the fact that TUI operates in a highly cyclical industry. And with the outlook for the UK and European economies being somewhat difficult to call, there's a chance that TUI's profitability will come under pressure. However, its high yield and dividend growth potential mean that it remains a worthy addition to a long-term income portfolio.
The last five years have been something of a purple patch for lending company Provident Financial(LSE: PFG). Its earnings have risen at a double-digit pace in each of those years, with the company benefitting from ultra-low interest rates that have helped to stimulate the UK and European economies.
Looking ahead, Brexit may cause a degree of uncertainty but low interest rates should help to positively catalyse GDP growth over the medium term. This means that consumer confidence is likely to remain buoyant, which should encourage increasing demand for Provident Financial's services. This is likely to lead to continued growth in the company's bottom line, which may help to boost its dividend growth rate.
Provident Financial currently yields 4.6% from a dividend covered 1.3 times by profit. This shows that Provident has headroom to enable dividend growth to at least match profit growth over the medium term. And with its earnings forecast to rise by 14% this year and by a further 8% next year, brisk dividend growth is on the cards. Alongside a price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 16.3, this indicates that now is a good time to buy Provident Financial for the long term.
But this could be an even better dividend stock
Despite this, there's another stock that could be an even better buy. In fact it's been named as A Top Income Share From The Motley Fool.
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Peter Stephens has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.