esterday, I started on a mission to find the best dividend payers in order to possibly add them to the Ultimate Sustainable Dividend Portfolio. I’m not sure how but I ended up looking at the three main credit card companies:Mastercard (NYSE:MA), Visa (NYSE:V) and American Express (NYSE:AXP). Clearly, it’s not the dividend that got me to look into those 3. For a reason that I have trouble understanding, these companies pay tiny dividend yields. I don’t understand why. Companies that have steady revenues and earnings and that tend to do well no matter how the economy performs are ideal dividend stocks.
Let’s face it, no matter what you think of them, credit cards are front and center in the US economy. Visa (NYSE:V) is one of 3 companies that will be added to the Dow Jones Industrial Average (with Goldman Sachs-GS and Nike-NKE), one more confirmation of how important the company is.
Which One To Own?The question then becomes which one to own. Even though dividends are not as important, I’ll look into these using the top 20 things that I look for when judging dividend stocks. I’ll simply put a lot more emphasis on the company fundamentals aspect. So here we go:
Clearly, all 3 names have very weak dividend profiles with American Express (NYSE:AXP) being the only one over 1%. They have all been increasing their payouts at a fast pace though so there is certainly hope. I’do go for AXP but this is only a small factor in my decision.
American Express is a great credit card to hold but maybe not the best stock based on these numbers. Its revenues are growing much more slowly and while it is also cheaper in terms of P/E, I don’t think it’s enough to make up for the slow growth. I’d personally go for Visa (NYSE:V) here although Mastercard comes in very close behind.