The Transurban (ASX:TCL) interim dividend has just been announced. Here’s what you need to know

What does Transurban’s next dividend come to?

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Transurban Group (ASX: TCL) used to be regarded as one of the ASX’s strongest and most stable dividend shares. You had a toll-road operator (already one of the steadiest kinds of companies) that had multi-decade, government-backed, and inflation-hedged contracts, spitting out predictable dividends every year. What could go wrong? The COVID-19 pandemic, as it turned out.

The Transurban dividend sometimes used to be described as ‘recession-proof’. But the COVID-induced recession (and associated lockdowns) arguably turned Transurban’s business model on its head. For the first time in more than a decade, Transurban cut its dividend in 2020.

In 2019 it paid out a total of 59 cents per share in dividends. But 2020 saw Transurban only shell out 47 cents per share. This year has seen investors receive just 36.5 cents per share in dividends. That consisted of an interim payment of 15 cents per share that was doled out back in February, plus its August final dividend of 21.5 cents per share.

That gives Transurban shares a trailing dividend yield of 2.64% on today’s share price of $13.71 (at the time of writing).

But today, the company has announced its interim dividend that will be paid out to investors next February (on 22 February, to be precise).

So what does it hold in store? Are Transurban’s glory days back?

Transurban announces interim dividend

Well, not quite, if we’re doing an apples-to-apples comparison.

Transurban announced that its first dividend of 2022 will be another unfranked 15 cents per share payment, mirroring its interim dividend of 2021. Transurban shares will trade ex-dividend for this payment on 30 December. That means the company’s forward dividend yield will stay at the same level as its trailing one. That’s 2.64% on today’s pricing.

Transurban also stated that “it expects the total FY22 distribution will be in line with Free Cash, excluding Capital Releases”.

So it looks as though shareholders will have to wait a little longer for Transurban’s old dividend levels.

At the current Transurban share price, the company is up around 1% year to date and flat over the past 12 months.

Should you invest $1,000 in Transurban right now?

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Motley Fool contributor Sebastian Bowen has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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