The National Australia Bank Ltd [ASX:NAB] share price is down 1.43%, or 34 cents, to trade at $23.51 today on the back of its annual general meeting address.
NAB has now overtaken Westpac Banking Corporation Ltd [ASX:WBC] to become Australia’s second largest bank in terms of market capitalisation.
And while the WBC share price has struggled this year, forcing the bank to scrap its divided, NAB shares have performed well, paying a total dividend of 60 cents per share for the year.
‘Performance of the NAB share price is an absolute priority’
In his address to NAB shareholders today, Chairman Philip Chronican said NAB believes the economy will be back to 2019 levels of growth by the end of 2021.
And the bank plans to capitalise on this momentum:
‘The future performance of the NAB share price is an absolute priority. Over the past ten years our total shareholder return, relative to major bank peers, is second. While headwinds remain, there is good underlying momentum in the business. We are confident that our shareholders will be rewarded over time, as the experience of our customers continues to improve.’
This year, Australia’s big four banks lost their reputation as foundational income stocks, slashing dividends as COVID-19 ravaged the economy.
Though some performed better than others.
NAB is one of those — and took time to gloat about that today. Mr Chronican said:
‘While some of our competitors deferred or decided not to pay an interim dividend, the Board did not feel that option met our responsibilities to you.’
NAB paid a total dividend of 60 cents, in line with the APRA cap.
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Mr Chronican said that NAB recognised the impact of lower distributions but insisted on an interim payout of 30 cents per share.
CEO Ross McEwan reaffirmed the commitment to paying dividends, stating:
‘We are a dividend paying stock and we will resume paying at higher levels when it’s right to do so.’
Is NAB the best dividend-paying stock?
Among the banks, NAB and Commonwealth Bank of Australia Ltd [ASX:CBA] might have the best potential to bump up their dividends over the next couple of years.
Both have weathered the economic crisis better than their peers.
Meaning if we see improved financial performance in the current financial year, a juicier dividend could be on the cards.
However, banks might not be the go-to anymore for income investors.
If you’re fishing around for new dividend stocks, there is a new class of Aussie dividend superstars that could take the place of the banks. Check out our free dividend report, where we reveal our top five ASX-listed dividend stocks with a great chance of maintaining big payouts during and after the crash. Click here to download your free report.
For The Rum Rebellion