December is not the best month of the year to fish for dividend returns, but it does appear as a highlight on the calendar because it is the turn of the classic among shareholder remuneration classics: Telefónica. The teleoperator has been grabbing headlines for several months, first due to the entry into its capital of the Saudi conglomerate STC, which maintains a position of less than 5% of the capital directly for the time being, and now because of the ERE (Employment Regulation File) proposed days ago to a third of its workforce. It is the first in the last decade.
Amid all the turmoil, the good news is that its 1.1 million shareholders will receive the second of Telefónica's annual payments. The teleoperator maintains the tradition and will pay 14 cents gross per share on December 15, which currently has a yield of more than 3.7%. In order to access the company's payment, it is necessary to have shares by next Monday, December 11 at the latest. In total, Telefónica will distribute €862 million to its shareholders. Of these, STC will receive 42.2 million euros from the first payment it will receive from the firm chaired by José María Álvarez-Pallete. Another €120 million will be shared equally by its largest shareholders, BBVA, CaixaBank and BlackRock.
In the last month and a half, Telefónica has also joined the stock market rally. Its shares are up 9% in the last 30 days and beat 4 euros per share, for the first time since the end of September.
Other payments already confirmed in the domestic market for next week are those of Merlin Properties. The REIT will distribute a dividend of €0.2 per share on 12 December (although it is no longer possible to access the payment if you do not own shares in the firm led by Ismael Clemente). Also noteworthy is the payment of Atresmedia, for years one of the listed companies with the most profitable dividend in the entire market. The amount is €0.18 and will arrive the next day, next Wednesday 13th. It achieves a return of 4.6%.
Before the grapes are harvested, Banco Sabadell's 218,000 shareholders will receive a dividend that continues to grow in the heat of the improvement in the sector's profits thanks to the rise in interest rates in the Eurozone. The entity led by César González Bueno will pay 3 cents gross per share on December 29, 50% more than last year's payment. It has a return of 2.4% after the upward pull it has had in the year and which exceeds 45%, which allowed its highest titles of 2018.
As a complement to the dividend, the bank announced this year the first share buyback programme for a value of 204 million euros, which closed early at the beginning of November.
It is also customary for Bankinter to pay one of its four annual payments (which would be the third from the 2023 result) at the end of December. It hasn't confirmed it yet, but the consensus expects 11 cents gross per share. Within the financial sector, Línea Directa was responsible for another of the Christmas payments. This will not be the case this year as the insurer, which presented losses of 14.6 million euros at the end of September, acknowledged a fortnight ago that "the circumstances do not exist" to distribute it, although it wanted to clarify that the board has not approved its suspension for the time being.
The New Year's Christmas gift will arrive on January 2 at Endesa's expense. The electricity company will distribute €0.5 gross per share, with a current yield of 2.5%. The company has just updated its roadmap for the 2023-2026 period, committing to a payout (percentage of profit distributed in dividends) of 70% and a payment of at least €1 per share, which is a reduction compared to what was foreseen in the previous strategic plan. In total, it expects to distribute 4,000 million euros among its shareholders in this period, of which almost 530 million will arrive on the second day of 2024.
There are other key events in this sector in the month of January. Repsol will reward its shareholders on January 11 and Iberdrola's payment is scheduled for the end of the month.