I was very surprised after reading a piece on Wealth Creators by Moneylife given the returns generated by high dividend yield stocks over 1998-2008. Here is the list of companies whose payout is high with the returns (including dividends earned).
Castrol India : 31%
Abbott India : 26%
P&G Hygiene & Healthcare : 21%
GlaxoSmithKline Consumer : 13%
Wyeth : (-7%)
Ingersoll-Rand (India) : (-22%)
Gillette India : (-27%)
Novartis India : (-30%)
Clearly, from above, one get a sense that high dividend yield stocks have turned out to be wealth destroyers rather than wealth creators. One would have been better off with bank FDs. According to ace investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, Multinationals have the worst corporate goverance standards in India. That might be one of the reasons for such pathetic returns.
But on the other hand, we have stocks like Phoenix Mills, Orient Abrasives, Motherson Sumi and Sesa Goa, where dividends have created wealth for the shareholders. If one goes by the top 20 wealth creators of 1998-2008, only 6 stocks have earned more dividend than the capital gains. That’s a mere 30% success. So, it would be fair to say that high dividend yield stocks should be avoided from a longer term perspective.