MSFT Dividend Payments Could Double Within 5 Years
The technology sector isn't known for paying out juicy dividends. Companies from the high-growth sector tend to re invest their cash into expanding instead of returning it to investors.
However, 17 years after the dot-com bubble popped in March of 2000, a group of former tech highflyers is quietly evolving into some of the best dividend payers in the S&P 500.
Apple, Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL ) is a great example. Apple began paying a dividend in 2012, and now offers a 1.6% yield after growing its dividend by 27% in the last three years. With more than $200 billion in cash, I expect Apple to continue growing its dividend for years to come.
While those stats are impressive, another legendary tech stock offers a better dividend yield and growth. This global leader pays out a 2.4% yield, a 50% premium to Apple's 1.6% yield. It has grown its dividend by 44% in the last three years, a 63% premium to Apple.
And finally, with just over $100 billion in cash on its balance sheet, I am expecting its dividend payment to grow more than 100% in the next five years.
The company, Microsoft, (Nasdaq: MSFT ) is one of the greatest growth stocks in the history of the Nasdaq. Since going public in 1986, shares are up more than 66,420%. That means $1,000 invested back then would now be worth $6.6 million today. Take a look at the impressive run below.
Microsoft Has Reliably Paid A Quarterly Dividend Since 2007
Microsoft made its first ever dividend payment back in February of 2007, just over ten years ago. At the time, it was big news. It was somewhat unusual for big technology companies to initiate a dividend.
The first MSFT dividend came in at just $0.10. Since then, its payment has grown to $0.40 per share, close to a 300% increase in 10 years. Take a look below.
That's already an impressive start to a dividend program. It's clear Microsoft is committed to rewarding investors with big-time dividend growth. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. Looking forward, I am expecting Microsoft's dividend to grow more than 100% in the next five years. Here's why.
While Microsoft's days of mega growth are behind it, the company is scoring big wins in the high-growth cloud computing market. According to market research firm IDC, worldwide spending on cloud services is expected to more than double by 2020 to $195 billion.
Right now, Microsoft is the second-largest player in the industry, trailing only Amazon. However, that is set to change. Microsoft is in position to eclipse Amazon and claim the number-one market position.
A recent Morgan Stanley survey of CIOs found the group would be more likely to use Microsoft Azure compared to Amazon Web Services in the next three years. In light of this shift. Microsoft should have no problem delivering record revenue and earnings for years to come.
That is going to have a big impact on the company's already eye-popping balance sheet. Microsoft currently has more than $100 billion in cash on its balance sheet. That is a lot more capital than Microsoft could invest in growth even if it wanted to.
My prediction is that Microsoft will use its massive and growing cash position to reward investors with big-time dividend growth -- doubling its dividend within the next five years.
And despite the strong outlook, Microsoft doesn't look overvalued. Its P/E ratio of 21 is a small premium to the S&P 500's 18.
Risks To Consider: Microsoft is banking on capturing a larger share of the high-growth cloud computing market. It needs to deliver on that goal to keep revenue growing and investors happy.
Action To Take: Microsoft is quietly evolving into one of the S&P 500's best dividend stocks . Buy now and look for the MSFT dividend to grow by at least 100% in the next five years.
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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.
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