The Motley Fool

Are Scentre shares a top buy for ASX income?

Unlike many other REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts), the Scentre Group (ASX: SCG) share price hasn’t gone ballistic in 2019 so far. Today, Scentre Group shares are sitting at about $3.97 (at the time of writing), which isn’t too far from the 2019 opening price of $3.84 but right in the middle of the 52-week high of $4.19 and the 52-week low of $3.63. So is this a Goldilocks moment to buy Scentre shares? Let’s have a look at Scentre.

What does Scentre Group do?

Scentre has a rather fascinating history. It is the Australian and New Zealand arm of what used to be Westfield Group – run by the famous Lowy family. Until its dissolution in 2014, Westfield Group was one of the biggest ASX success stories and Scentre continues its Australian legacy with its ownership of the Westfield centres across Australia and New Zealand. Westfield Group had a global network of shopping centres across the US, UK and Europe as well, but these assets were spun-off separately into Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (ASX:URW) when Westfield Group was dissolved.

Many investors are sceptical of REITs that operate in the physical retail space due to the rise of Amazon and online shopping over the last decade (and understandably so). One only has to look at the share price of companies like Myer Holdings Ltd (ASX: MYR) to understand the dangers that ‘traditional retail’ is facing. But Scentre saw the writing on the wall, and have been repositioning their shopping centres as ‘living centres’, with more focus on lifestyle, eating and experiences like cinemas over conventional shops. In my opinion, this has been a reasonably successful strategy and in its most recent earnings report, Scentre reported an occupancy rate of 99.3%.

Is Scentre a buy for income? A Foolish takeaway

The company has a comforting history of increasing its distributions every year since inception and Scentre has recently increased its distribution payout again to 11.3 cents, giving Scentre shares a trailing annual yield of 5.64% on today’s prices. Considering this beats the starting yield of many ‘typical’ dividend stocks like Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) today, I think Scentre is an attractive dividend option to consider for income.

Don't miss some more of our top dividend shares here!

NEW! Top 3 Dividend Bets for 2019

With interest rates likely to stay at rock bottom for months (or YEARS) to come, income-minded investors have nowhere to turn... except dividend shares. That’s why The Motley Fool’s top analysts have just prepared a brand-new report, laying out their top 3 dividend bets for 2019.

Hint: These are 3 shares you’ve probably never come across before.

They’re not the banks. Not Woolies or Wesfarmers or any of the “usual suspects.”

We think these 3 shares offer solid growth prospects over the next 12 months. Each of these three companies boasts fully franked yields and could be a great fit for your diversified portfolio. You’ll discover all three names and codes in "The Motley Fool’s Top 3 Dividend Shares for 2019."

Even better, your copy is free when you click the link below. Fair warning: This report is brand new and may not be available forever. Click the link below to be among the first investors to get access to this timely, important new research!

The names of these top 3 dividend bets are all included. But you will have to hurry. Depending on demand – and how quickly the share prices of these companies move – we may be forced to remove this report.

Click here to claim your free copy right now!

Motley Fool contributor Sebastian Bowen has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Scentre Group. 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.

NEW. Five Cheap and Good Stocks to Buy in 2019…

Our Motley Fool experts have just released a brand new FREE report, detailing 5 dirt cheap shares that you can buy today.

One stock is an Australian internet darling with a rock solid reputation and an exciting new business line that promises years (or even decades) of growth… while trading at an ultra-low price…

Another is a diversified conglomerate trading near a 52-week low all while offering a 2.8% fully franked yield…

Plus 3 more cheap bets that could position you to profit over the next 12 months!

See for yourself now. Simply click the link below to scoop up your FREE copy and discover all 5 shares. But you will want to hurry – this free report is available for a brief time only.

CLICK HERE FOR YOUR FREE REPORT!