The Motley Fool

Is this the best dividend share on the market with its 8.3% yield?

WAM Research Limited (ASX: WAX) is one of the high-performing listed investment companies (LICs) operated by the team at Wilson Asset Management.

Earlier today, WAM Research revealed a 42.2% increase of the operating profit before tax to $28.9 million.

WAM Research reported that FY18 dividends totalled 9.5 cents per share, a pleasing 5.6% increased compared to FY17.

The WAM Research portfolio created a gross return of 14.5% before expenses and fees, compared to the S&P/ASX All Ordinaries Accumulation Index’s return of 13.7%. This outperformance was achieved with an average cash weighting of 29.1%.

The before-tax NTA increased by 11.7% during FY18, including the 9.25 cents per share of dividends paid to shareholders. The NTA increase includes the 1.7% paid for corporate tax, 1% of management fees and other items.

WAM Research’s total shareholder return was 6.6% which was driven by the portfolio performance but hampered by the reduction in the premium to the NTA which fell from 22.4% in 2017 to 18% at the end of FY18.

Three of the LIC’s best performing holdings were Afterpay Touch Group Ltd (ASX: APT), Emeco Holdings Limited (ASX: EHL) and Bravura Solutions Ltd (ASX: BVS).

At 30 June 2018, WAM Research’s five largest holdings were Nine Entertainment Co Holdings Ltd (ASX: NEC), Flight Centre Travel Group Ltd (ASX: FLT), PSC Insurance Group Ltd (ASX: PSI), Emeco Holdings Limited (ASX: EHL) and FlexiGroup Limited (ASX: FXL).

The WAM Research team remain cautious with the rise in global interest rates, coupled with the potential of trade wars. Although global economic growth continues, WAM believes volatility will increase. WAM Research started FY19 with 25.6% of the portfolio in cash.

Foolish takeaway

WAM Research currently has a grossed-up dividend yield of 8.3% and it has increased its dividend each year since the GFC, not many shares on the ASX have that record. In my opinion WAM Research is one of the best dividend shares on the ASX.

Whilst the current yield is very attractive I think it might be wise to wait until the final dividend has been paid in a couple of months due to the current 26% premium to July 2018’s pre-tax NTA. Waiting should present a better price and starting yield to patient investors.

This top dividend stock could be a better target in the meantime because it’s expected to unveil underlying profit growth of at least 30% in the FY18 result.

Breaking news: ASX companies set to raise dividends!

It's been a nail-biter of a reporting season here in the first half of 2018.

But the real action, in my opinion, is what companies are doing with dividends.

What does this mean for you? Well there is one stock I've found that could very well turn out to be THE best buy of 2018. And while there's no such thing as a 'sure thing' when it comes to investing - this ripper might come as close as I've ever seen.

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Motley Fool contributor Tristan Harrison owns shares of WAM Research Limited. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Flight Centre Travel Group Limited. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of AFTERPAY T FPO and Bravura Solutions Ltd. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended FlexiGroup Limited. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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