Goldman Sachs Dividend Hike Possible - High-Yield Dividend Investing Commentary May 7, 2010
No, we're not going out on a limb by saying many stocks could raise their dividends, but Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) is a special case.
At Friday's annual shareholder's meeting, Goldman's Chairman and CEO Lloyd Blankfein mentioned that his company would consider raising its dividend, which is currently $1.40 a share on an annual basis. That's good for anemic yield of 0.90%.
If any company has the wiggle room to pay a better dividend, it's Goldman Sachs. The company reported record earnings last year and ended the year with over $25 billion in free cash. In other words, Goldman really knows how to generate cash.
Investors know this and some shareholders started clamoring for a higher dividend last year.
While Blankfein did mention a possible dividend hike, he did sing a familiar tune when it comes to bank CEOs and their respective dividends: He mentioned the need for clarity regarding capital reserves requirements federal regulators, according to CNBC.
Overall, this may be a bid for some sorely needed positive PR for Goldman, but it should be noted that the company has almost tripled its payout since coming public in 1999.
On the other hand, if Goldman can afford to pay Warren Buffett 10% a year on his $5 billion investment in the company, hiking the dividend for common shareholders shouldn't be too taxing.