Telstra is paying 18 cents per share in dividends: Time to buy the stock?

Can we call on this business for good returns?

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Owners of Telstra Group Ltd (ASX: TLS) stock have been receiving a growing dividend over the last couple of years. In this article, I'm going to look at whether it's a good time to invest in the ASX telco share.

I like Telstra as a defensive play because our internet connection is vital for most households, businesses, education centres, and so on. But I want more than stability in a good investment, I want to see growth.

Let's look at the potential dividend income from the company.

Growing dividend

In FY22, the company paid an annual dividend per share of 16.5 cents.

In FY23, the business paid an annual dividend per share of 17 cents.

In the FY24 first-half result, the business paid an annual dividend per share of 9 cents, which is an annualised dividend per share of 18 cents. In FY24, the business could pay an annual grossed-up dividend yield of 6.8%.

The forecast on Commsec for FY25 is logical, with an assumption of an annual dividend per share of 19 cents, which would be a grossed-up dividend yield of 7.2%.

Finally, the dividend per share could grow to 20 cents per share in FY26, which would be a grossed-up dividend yield of 7.6%.

A pleasing starting yield with ongoing growth is a pleasing combination.

Is this a good time to invest in Telstra stock?

Telstra's earnings are projected to grow in FY25 and FY26, which would be a pleasing aspect because a growing profit usually helps push the share price higher.

There are a lot of different ASX shares on the stock market. Telstra has a market capitalisation of $43.4 billion – it's not the sort of business that's likely to rocket higher over the next few years.

However, there are a number of factors that are currently positive.

Telstra continues to win new mobile subscribers, which is driving revenue higher and can push up profit margins because more users are being spread across the same telecommunications infrastructure.

In this inflationary environment, it has been increasing prices in line with inflation, which is boosting the average revenue per user (ARPU) – this also helps total revenue.

Over the long term, I think the new 5G network has the potential to replace the NBN connection for household broadband. This could enable Telstra's wireless broadband offering to recapture the margin it lost to the NBN a few years ago.

Decent profit growth combined with a solid dividend could lead to market-beating total shareholder returns from Telstra stock over the next five years. I think it's a buy at a 52-week low.  

Motley Fool contributor Tristan Harrison 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 positions in and has recommended Telstra Group. 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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