Sunday, 16 October 2016

Is the SPH dinosaur facing extinction?

SPH reported a 17.5% fall in FY16 earning and my Christmas present gets smaller again. (SPH pays its final dividend on 23rd Dec every year).

SPH has been a very good dividend master for a long time.  However, the declining trend of dividend payouts is hard to ignore and worrisome.  Like the Antarctic glaciers' gathering pace towards the ocean in this global warming era, SPH's declining dividend is also gathering pace:
2011 - 24c
2012 - 24c
2013 - 22c
2014 - 21c
2015 - 20c
2016 - 18c

The core business of SPH, media business, is simply a sunset industry with circulation readership and advertisement income on a persistent downhill slide over the years.

SPH needs to transform at an accelerated pace to survive this new digital era.  The SPH dinosaur has to evolve fast or face extinction.

I think it is time to review the continuing relevance of SPH as one of my foundation stocks.  Perhaps I should get a REIT to accurately reflect the setup of my portfolio?

In terms of market cap, history, prestige and consistent increasing trend of dividends, I think there is only one REIT that is capable of replacing SPH.  The only issue is that it is now trading at a premium to its NAV.  Well, I have to be patient and wait for better opportunity to get more of it.