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I view technology shares as being synonymous with growth. But this sector took a pounding last year in the stock market. In fact, my tech exposure was the worst performing part of my investment portfolio. In contrast, the valuations of large dividend stocks like those of the oil and mining giants, soared in 2022.
My belief is that money paid today is better than the promise of money tomorrow. Don’t get me wrong, I find capital growth attractive. But I also feel I need to be compensated more readily and frequently for the risk I am taking in today’s choppy market.
The dividend stock in focus
For me, Glencore PLC (LSE:GLEN) provided the type of total return over 2022 that I am seeking. I believe the company outperformed on several key metrics. Its valuation grew 30% versus the FTSE 100 (1%). The dividend stock also offered a strong dividend yield of over 4% — greater than the FTSE 100 average (3.6%).
In my experience, past performance is no indicator of the future. However, I believe the same conditions that allowed Glencore’s underlying business to thrive last year, persist.
Rising commodity prices are one of the main reasons price inflation exploded in 2022. The current outlook for inflation is a mixed picture, but a rise isn’t out of the question.
Glencore can continue to benefit from these conditions. Especially considering how well diversified it is across the various commodities. The company is invested in anything from battery metals to nickel, to copper and coal. From my perspective all these commodities are doing rather well. Even in the case they aren’t, Glencore’s trading business can benefit from any commodity market disruptions. This was the case last year where market disruption drove a 600%+ rise in annual earnings.
However, the company has clear headwinds that I must consider too. Many City analysts believe the dividend stock is already fairly valued compared to peers. There are also many forecasts pointing to a downtrend in profits over the next three years.
Does this deter me? No. I’m still of the view that Glencore’s history of generating consistent profits will continue. This provides the miner with the means to add long-term value to shareholders. It has increased the dividend pay outs to shareholders by 38% over the last five years.
Dividend income is crucial
I view the trading environment for commodities as a volatile one. So I am quietly expecting Glencore to outperform its mining peers due to its trading scale. The company has a clear willingness to return excess profits to investors. Its dividend is forecast to grow to 10% next year. I can still benefit in other ways if the dividend falls. For example, I could receive other cash returns in the form of share buybacks if I hold on to the shares over the long run.
Glencore’s commitment to shareholders is a highly attractive feature. I believe that regardless of capital growth, Glencore will reward me with a decent yield throughout my holding.
The stock isn’t one I’m intending to buy right now. But it’s certainly the top mining stock on my shortlist for 2023.
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