Markets
AY

This High-Yielding Renewable Energy Stock Has Lots More Dividend Growth Ahead

Atlantica Yield (NASDAQ: AY) has increased its dividend several times over the past few years. The renewable energy producer recently announced its latest increase, a modest 2.4% raise, which will push its dividend yield above 5.9%. While that's certainly an attractive payout, there's a lot more upside ahead for the company's dividend, making it an intriguing stock for those seeking a steadily rising income stream. 

Sustainable income

Atlantica Yield recently reported its first-half results. While earnings declined by 7.4% year over year, cash flow improved by 2.9%. That's because lower interest expenses more than offset foreign exchange rate fluctuations and weaker results at its solar energy facilities because of less sunshine. Overall, the company generated $97.3 million in cash, which more than covered its $84.3 million in dividend outlays during the first half of the year.

Solar panels and a wind tower with the sun setting in the background.

Image source: Getty Images.

The company's results show the benefit of its diversified portfolio of sustainable infrastructure. As mentioned, its solar assets generated weaker results, which caused its renewable energy production to decline by 10% even though it has increased its production capacity by nearly 4% via recent investments. The company offset this impact due to stronger results from its natural gas power plants and water desalination facilities where both capacity and availability increased, thanks in part to recent acquisitions.

Plenty of power to keep growing

In addition to generating solid results during the first half, Atlantica made excellent progress on its strategic growth plan. In April, the company and some financial partners created a joint venture (Atlantica owns 35%) to invest in Chile's renewable energy sector. The joint venture recently made its first acquisition, buying a 55-megawatt (MW) solar power plant.

Meanwhile, in July, Atlantica exercised its option to buy out its partner's tax equity interest in Solana, a 280 MW solar power facility in the U.S. Atlantica will invest $290 million to complete this deal, with that investment expected to generate a double-digit cash flow yield. That needle-moving growth will help drive its results higher in the second half of the year. 

Atlantica also made excellent progress on financing its business, which included refinancing existing debt at lower rates and raising new capital. Overall, the company raised $489 million, which will finance its joint venture investment, the Solana purchase, and future transactions. 

The company was able to take advantage of lower interest rates to recapitalize its some of its solar assets in Spain, which enabled it to generate some cash while extending its debt maturities. Even with all that financial maneuvering, Atlantica Yield ended the first half with a relatively low corporate leverage ratio of 2.3 times cash flow. That gives it the flexibility to continue funding growth as new opportunities emerge.

A sustainable income stream

Atlantica Yield offers income investors a compelling dividend yield powered by sustainable infrastructure that generates reasonably steady cash flow secured by long-term, fixed-rate contracts. With new assets recently joining its portfolio, cash flow should continue rising. Add in its improved financial flexibility, and it has fuel to continue expanding, which should allow it to keep growing its dividend.

10 stocks we like better than Atlantica Sustainable Infrastructure plc
When investing geniuses David and Tom Gardner have a stock tip, it can pay to listen. After all, the newsletter they have run for over a decade, Motley Fool Stock Advisor, has tripled the market.*

David and Tom just revealed what they believe are the ten best stocks for investors to buy right now... and Atlantica Sustainable Infrastructure plc wasn't one of them! That's right -- they think these 10 stocks are even better buys.

See the 10 stocks

 

*Stock Advisor returns as of June 2, 2020

 

Matthew DiLallo owns shares of Atlantica Sustainable Infrastructure plc. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

In This Story

AY

Latest Markets Videos

The Motley Fool

Founded in 1993 in Alexandria, VA., by brothers David and Tom Gardner, The Motley Fool is a multimedia financial-services company dedicated to building the world's greatest investment community. Reaching millions of people each month through its website, books, newspaper column, radio show, television appearances, and subscription newsletter services, The Motley Fool champions shareholder values and advocates tirelessly for the individual investor. The company's name was taken from Shakespeare, whose wise fools both instructed and amused, and could speak the truth to the king -- without getting their heads lopped off.

Learn More