CBA to Wesfarmers: Australia's top dividends

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Australia has a love affair with dividends, especially when they're fully franked. After coming off the boil due to COVID-19, dividends are back in a big way.

"Across the world, the restart of cancelled dividends has driven the recovery so far, but we are also seeing stronger dividend growth than we expected," says Jane Shoemake, client portfolio manager on the global equity income team at Janus Henderson.

"Despite the severity of the recession last year, global dividends in aggregate will likely regain their pre-pandemic levels within the next 12 months."

best dividend stocks australia investing for dividends

Here are some of the standout dividends Aussie income investors are in line to receive.

Commonwealth Bank

In the 12 months to June 30, 2021, CBA booked a $1.4 billion increase in cash profit to $8.7 billion.

As a result, on September 29 CBA shareholders will receive a $2 fully-franked dividend, bringing the total for the year to $3.50 a share fully franked.

BHP

BHP will reward shareholders on September 21 with a final fully-franked dividend of $2.71 per share. Coupled with its interim dividend of $1.31, this brings the total FY21 dividend to $4.10, a 151% increase on FY20.

Rio Tinto        

Not to be outdone by BHP, Rio will provide its shareholders with a $7.60 per share dividend on September 23. That brings the full-year dividend to $12.77.

CSL

CSL finished the 2021 financial year with a $3.27 billion profit. Despite COVID disruptions, the company was still able to manufacture 50 million AstraZeneca doses out of its Melbourne production facility.

The company will reward its shareholders on September 30 with a final dividend of US$1.18 per share, franked at 10%, bringing the full-year dividend to about US$2.22 per share. That's a 10% increase on last financial year.

Fortescue Metals Group

Thanks to increases in the iron ore price, Fortescue posted FY21 net profit after tax of US$10.3 billion, up 117% from FY20.

This has allowed the mining giant to return fully-franked full-year dividend to $3.58 per share (including a $2.11 final dividend), the largest dividend in its history and more than double the dividend of FY20.

Wesfarmers

Bunnings has been allowed to remain open through most of the pandemic, helping to push Wesfarmers profit up by 16% in the financial year.

On October 7, the company will pay a fully-franked ordinary final dividend of 90 cents per share, taking the full-year ordinary dividend to $1.78 per share.

But that's not all. Pending shareholder approval, which it will surely get, Wesfarmers will also pay out a $2 per share dividend in December.

Cochlear

Cochlear posted FY21 underlying net profit of $236.7 million, up 54% from FY20.

The company declared an unfranked final dividend of $1.40 per share, bringing dividends for the full year to $2.55 per share.

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David Thornton is a journalist at Money magazine and is one of the hosts of the Friends With Money podcast. He previously worked at Your Money, covering market news as producer of Trading Day Live. Before that, he covered business and finance news at The Constant Investor. David holds a Masters of International Relations from the University of Melbourne.