Dividend stock SSE PLC (LON:SSE) (LSE:SSE.L) has released a Q3 update to the stock market. Investors are likely to be pleased by the fact SSE confirms it is on target to achieve a return to growth in FY2017 and deliver adjusted earnings per share of at least 120p.
SSE also confirms for FY2017 it expects to report an annual increase in the full-year dividend which at least keeps pace with inflation (RPI). Annual increases which are at least as much as inflation (RPI) are targeted for subsequent years. Its focus on disciplined investment and operational efficiency should help it to achieve this goal of inflation-matching dividends.
Today’s investor update also provides an update on the company’s investment programme for FY2017, which is now expected to total £1.75 billion. It also states SSE faces an operating environment which presents some challenges. Volatile wholesale energy market conditions have been present during November and December in particular.
However, SSE remains on target to meet its dividend expectations. In my view, this helps it to stand out from other dividend shares, while its dividend yield of 6.3% is also higher than other dividend stocks such as Vodafone Group plc (LON:VOD) (LSE:VOD.L), National Grid plc (LON:NG) (LSE:NG.L), Lloyds Banking Group PLC (LON:LLOY) (LSE:LLOY.L) and Imperial Brands PLC (LON:IMB) (LSE:IMB.L).
For example, National Grid’s shares yield 4.9%, Vodafone’s stock yields 6.2%, Imperial Brands has a yield of 4.7% and Lloyds shares yield 5.4%.
In my view, SSE remains a sound long term dividend share. I believe there will be other stocks which offer faster dividend growth in the medium term. However, SSE’s aim to increase dividends by at least as much as RPI inflation helps it to stand out from the crowd in my opinion. Therefore, with a high yield and dividend growth potential, I think it has relative appeal as a dividend share over the long run.