With there being continued speculation regarding a possible cut in interest rates by the RBA, high dividend yields are likely to become a more sought after commodity for Aussie investors in 2015.
After all, with inflation at 2.3%, even a 0.25% fall in interest rates will mean that savers will be receiving a negative real return on their capital.
So, with this in mind, here are three stocks that offer high yields and which could be worth adding to your portfolio right now.
Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES) currently yields a highly appealing 4.8%. However, its appeal as an income stock centres on dividend per share growth, with the retailer having an excellent track record of dividend per share increases.
For example, over the last five years Wesfarmers has increased dividends per share at an annualised rate of 12.5% and, looking ahead, is forecast to move them higher by 6.1% per annum over the next two years. This equates to an appealing real terms rise in the income of the company’s shareholders and means that Wesfarmers could be yielding as much as 5.4% next year.
In addition, Wesfarmers’ dividend is relatively stable, with its business model being less cyclical than other high yielding ASX peers. As such, it could prove to be a top notch income stock.
Westpac Banking Corp
Also having an excellent track record of dividend per share growth is Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC). Its dividends have risen by 9.4% per annum over the last five years and, although this rate of growth is not forecast to continue, planned rises of 4.5% per annum over the next two years mean that the bank could be yielding as much as 6.1% next year.
Furthermore, Westpac has ample headroom when making payouts to shareholders, with its dividend coverage ratio being a healthy 1.3.
And, with an interest rate cut on the horizon, Westpac could benefit from an increase in demand for mortgages and new loans, which could push its bottom line even higher and result in even more generous real terms rises in dividends.
National Australia Bank Ltd.
When it comes to a headline yield, National Australia Bank Ltd. (ASX: NAB) holds considerable appeal for income seeking investors. That’s because it currently yields a whopping 6% and, best of all, its dividends are forecast to grow at an annualised rate of 5.6% over the next two years.
This rate of growth is roughly in-line with its annual increases over the last five years of 6.3% and equates to 2.4 times the current rate of inflation. In other words, unless inflation sky-rockets, NAB should deliver a generous real-terms increase in dividends moving forward.
As with Westpac, NAB could benefit from a reduction in interest rates but, if not, it is still forecast to increase its bottom line at an annualised rate of 16.7% over the next two years. As such, an even faster pace of dividend growth could be on the cards over the medium term.
Despite their appeal, there is another ASX stock that could prove to be an even better income play than Westpac, NAB, and Wesfarmers.
In fact, the company in question has recently been named as The Motley Fool's Top Dividend Stock For 2015 as a result of its fat, fully franked yield and excellent dividend growth prospects. As such, it could make a real difference to your income in 2015 and beyond.
Click here to find out all about it – it's completely free and without obligation to do so.
Motley Fool contributor Peter Stephens does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned.