It’s been a long time since the iconic ‘flying kangaroo’ paid out a portion of its earnings to investors.
So, why has the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) staple been holding out on its dividends? Let’s take a look.
As of Wednesday’s close, the Qantas share price is $5.45. It has gained 5.8% year to date.
Meanwhile, the ASX 200 has slipped 4.33%.
When was Qantas’ last dividend?
The last time those invested in Qantas shares received a dividend from the company was way back in financial year 2019.
It’s worth noting that Qantas ended financial year 2019 in the red. It recorded a 6.5% year-on-year fall in statutory profit after tax.
Readers might be able to guess what happened next. The COVID-19 pandemic took hold in Australia in March 2020, to the detriment of the travel sector.
As borders slammed shut and demand nose-dived, Qantas deferred the payment of its 13.5-cent interim dividend, promised in February 2020. However, come June 2020, the dividend had been revoked entirely.
On cancelling the dividend, Qantas stated:
This uncertainty has now crystallised into a significant detrimental impact on the group’s earnings and cash position.
Further, the fully franked nature of the interim dividend was based on franking credits expected from taxable profits in the second half, which will now not materialise.
Accordingly, the board has decided to revoke the interim dividend, avoiding the outflow of $201 million of cash and helping to maintain strong liquidity in the face of this unprecedented crisis.
Sadly, Qantas’ COVID-19 challenges didn’t end there.
In fact, the airline recorded a $1.28 billion underlying loss before tax for the 6 months ended 31 December 2021, mainly due to the pandemic.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, there’s been no sign of a dividend from the company since the onset of COVID-19.
But with restrictions easing and demand for travel returning, the future might be brighter for Qantas, its shares, and its dividends.
Should you invest $1,000 in Qantas right now?
Before you consider Qantas, you’ll want to hear this.
Motley Fool Investing expert Scott Phillips just revealed what he believes are the 5 best stocks for investors to buy right now… and Qantas wasn’t one of them.
The online investing service he’s run for over a decade, Motley Fool Share Advisor, has provided thousands of paying members with stock picks that have doubled, tripled or even more.* And right now, Scott thinks there are 5 stocks that are better buys.
*Returns as of January 13th 2022
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Motley Fool contributor Brooke Cooper 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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