With interest rates at low levels and unlikely to be moving higher in the near future, dividend shares continue to be a great alternative to traditional interest-bearing assets.
But which dividend shares could be buys? Here are two highly rated ASX dividend shares to look at:
Accent Group Ltd (ASX: AX1)
The first ASX dividend share to look at is Accent. It is a retail group with a collection of popular footwear-focused store brands. Accent was a very strong performer in FY 2021, reporting a 19.9% increase in sales to $1.14 billion and a 38.6% jump in net profit after tax to $76.9 million. And while it will be hard to top this in FY 2022 because of lockdowns, its longer term outlook remains very positive. This is thanks to its strong market position and expansion plans.
Bell Potter is positive on the company. It has a buy rating and $2.90 price target on its shares. The broker is also forecasting dividends per share of 9.3 cents in FY 2022 and 13.3 cents in FY 2023. Based on the latest Accent share price of $2.09, this represents fully franked yields of 4.4% and 6.35%, respectively.
Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS)
Another ASX dividend share to look at is Telstra. This telco could be a top option due to its ever-improving outlook, which is being underpinned by its leadership position with 5G, asset monetisation, cost cutting, and rational competition. Combined, these are expected to allow the company to return to growth in FY 2022.
Pleasingly, that isn’t expected to be a one-off. Management is aiming for sustainable growth over the medium term through its newly announced T25 strategy.
This strategy went down well with the team at Goldman Sachs. The broker has a buy rating and $4.40 price target on its shares. Goldman also expects the new strategy to support 16 cents per share dividends through to FY 2023. After which, it is forecasting the first increase in a decade to 18 cents per share in FY 2024 and then a further increase to 19 cents per share in FY 2025.
Based on the current Telstra share price of $3.95, this will mean fully franked 4% yields for the next couple of years before the increases.