With a dividend yield of 2.5% at the time of writing, Revolution Bars(LSE: RBG) looks to be a top dividend stock. The payout is covered nearly three times by earnings per share, leaving plenty of room for payout growth, or protecting investors from a payout cut if profits fall.
Takeover battle raging
Revolution is currently in the middle of a takeover battle between Stonegate Pub Company Limited, which is offering 203p per share in cash for the firm, and the Deltic Group Limited, which is proposing an all-share merger.
Today Deltic revealed its latest offer for Revolution. The proposal provides for a combination under which existing Revolution shareholders would own 65% of the group, and Deltic owners would hold 35% of the enlarged group. According to the buyer, the combined group should benefit from approximately £6.8m of currently identified pre-tax cost synergies and approximately £0.9m of pre-tax financing synergies. What's more, the group is "expected to be highly cash generative and financed conservatively, " and there is to be "no change to Revolution's existing dividend policy."
Unlike the Stonegate offer, which provides a quick cash exit for investors, the Deltic merger could create more value over the long term. Certainly, for income investors, this might be the better option as it would allow shareholders to benefit from the merger synergies and the growth of the enlarged group.
At the time of writing, shares in Revolution are trading at a forward P/E of 14.5. If shareholders vote to merge with Deltic, this valuation could quickly become out of date as synergies push up earnings and cash distributions to investors.
That said, if the company chooses the Stonegate route, investors buying today could find themselves out of pocket as the offer is 3p below the current share price.
Emerging market cash cow
If Revolution is not for you, Symphony International Holdings(LSE: SIHL) might be a better buy. Symphony is essentially a private equity investor. The firm is a leading investor in consumer-related businesses, primarily in the healthcare, hospitality and lifestyle sectors in the Asia-Pacific region. This unique strategy has produced some exciting results for investors over the past five years.
Last year the company paid out $40m to investors via way of a dividend, equal to around 5.7% of its net asset value. This year, distributions are on track to be even more significant. At the end of last month, Symphony declared a $60.3m distribution equal to $0.10 per share, taking the total dividend paid in 2017 to approximately $82.3m or $0.14 per share for a yield of 17% (Symphony's shares trade in London but are quoted in US dollars).
And as well as the company's high double-digit dividend yield, the shares also trade at a discount of approximately 33% to net asset value of $1.20 per share.
So overall, Symphony is cheap, and the company is returning vast amounts of cash to investors. However, I should point out that as the shares are traded in dollars, investors are exposed to foreign exchange risks, and for this reason, the discount to NAV may never close. Still, for risk-tolerant investors, this looks to be an exciting dirt-cheap dividend king.
Research is key
Dividend stocks are portfolio essentials over the long term, but you really need to do your research to make sure you're buying the best income stocks. Companies with a high dividend yield like Symphony might look attractive at first glance, but there's more to a good dividend stock than just a high yield.
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Rupert Hargreaves owns no share mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.