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BT Group (LON:BT.A) Has Affirmed Its Dividend Of £0.0231

BT Group plc's (LON:BT.A) investors are due to receive a payment of £0.0231 per share on 6th of February. The dividend yield will be 6.4% based on this payment which is still above the industry average.

Check out our latest analysis for BT Group

BT Group's Earnings Easily Cover The Distributions

A big dividend yield for a few years doesn't mean much if it can't be sustained. The last dividend was quite easily covered by BT Group's earnings. This indicates that quite a large proportion of earnings is being invested back into the business.

Over the next year, EPS is forecast to fall by 1.4%. Assuming the dividend continues along recent trends, we believe the payout ratio could be 37%, which we are pretty comfortable with and we think is feasible on an earnings basis.

historic-dividend
historic-dividend

Dividend Volatility

While the company has been paying a dividend for a long time, it has cut the dividend at least once in the last 10 years. The annual payment during the last 10 years was £0.076 in 2012, and the most recent fiscal year payment was £0.077. Its dividends have grown at less than 1% per annum over this time frame. We're glad to see the dividend has risen, but with a limited rate of growth and fluctuations in the payments the total shareholder return may be limited.

The Dividend's Growth Prospects Are Limited

Given that the dividend has been cut in the past, we need to check if earnings are growing and if that might lead to stronger dividends in the future. However, BT Group has only grown its earnings per share at 2.3% per annum over the past five years. The company has been growing at a pretty soft 2.3% per annum, and is paying out quite a lot of its earnings to shareholders. This isn't necessarily bad, but we wouldn't expect rapid dividend growth in the future.

Our Thoughts On BT Group's Dividend

Overall, we think BT Group is a solid choice as a dividend stock, even though the dividend wasn't raised this year. While the payout ratios are a good sign, we are less enthusiastic about the company's dividend record. This looks like it could be a good dividend stock going forward, but we would note that the payout ratio has been at higher levels in the past so it could happen again.

Market movements attest to how highly valued a consistent dividend policy is compared to one which is more unpredictable. Meanwhile, despite the importance of dividend payments, they are not the only factors our readers should know when assessing a company. To that end, BT Group has 4 warning signs (and 1 which makes us a bit uncomfortable) we think you should know about. If you are a dividend investor, you might also want to look at our curated list of high yield dividend stocks.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.

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