I'm taking Visa (V) as good for its word. That means another giant dividend boost is coming when the company reports October 31. Last year, Visa gave its loyal shareholders a 47% raise. This year, the company is likely to be uber generous once again. Right now, Visa pays 22 cents a quarter. That number should soon be replaced by 30 to 32 cents.
The Logic Behind The Bump
Visa is minting money. Check out its free cash flow. It blows away earnings by a wide mile. $4 billion in FCF versus $1 billion in net: Not many companies have such a wide differential.
And really, free cash is the metric Visa wants us to think about when it comes to dividends.
Per its CEO:
As has been the case for close to 4 years now with this free cash flow, we will continue to fund growth in our core business, launch and support new products and pursue selective acquisitions in order to further maximize shareholder value. What is left over will be returned to our shareholders in the form of repurchases and dividends.
Visa has spent $1.5 billion over the last year on buybacks and dividends, leaving $2.5 billion or $3 a share available - the "leftovers," more than enough for a giant raise. Visa loves buybacks even more. Visa favors share repurchases over dividends: Expect that to continue.
And who knows? With taxes on dividends set to go up come January 1, Visa just might "sneak" in a $1 special dividend before the end of the year. Now that's just a wild piece of speculation on my part, but how better to reward shareholders?
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