StarHub is one of the three major telecommunications companies in Singapore. Find out how its shares have been performing on the SGX and what you can expect when it comes to dividend payouts.
The telecommunications industry in Singapore is highly competitive, especially as more companies join the fray in recent years. One stalwart of the scene would be StarHub, founded in 1998 and publicly listed on the SGX six years later.
Along with Singtel and M1, it has become a household name that many in Singapore would easily recognise.
When it comes to dividends, StarHub has been a picture of reliability, kickstarting payouts in 2005 and never looking back. However, it faces the same business challenges plaguing the other major telcos in Singapore today. These include competition from MVNOs and a host of streaming services like Netflix and Disney+ cutting cords left, right, and center.
Is StarHub still worthy of your investment capital, then? Find out with this full guide to its share prices and dividend payouts.
- StarHub’s share prices across the past five years
- StarHub’s dividend history
- StarHub’s dividend payout schedule
- What risks do I face when investing in StarHub?
- What does the future hold for StarHub?
StarHub’s share prices across the past five years
|2021 (January to August)||S$1.18 – S$1.40|
|2020||S$1.15 – S$1.54|
|2019||S$1.26 – S$1.94|
|2018||S$1.61 – S$2.99|
|2017||S$2.54 – S$3.16|
StarHub’s share prices haven’t been encouraging when viewed from 2017 to August 2021, dropping by close to S$2 per share in less than five years. However, remember that stock prices aren’t the be all and end all for dividend-paying stocks. COVID-19 and the ensuing recession were obvious challenges for businesses across the globe too.
Unfortunately, StarHub’s financial data during the same timeframe doesn’t lend much confidence either. The company’s gross profit dropped by more than S$300 million while its total debt grew by close to S$400 million.
Fortunately, its total assets saw an increase of close to S$600 million, a silver lining in this grey cloud.
Things haven’t been working out for its closest competitors in recent years either. M1 was delisted from the SGX in 2019 whereas Singtel has seen its own stock prices drop by approximately S$1 per share across the past five years.
With the implementation of 5G across Singapore already in the works, it may just be the booster shot that StarHub and the other major telcos need to turn their fortunes around.
Furthermore, Singapore reopening its borders from the fourth quarter of 2021 onwards means that the telco can rely on revenue generated via roaming again.
StarHub’s dividend history
|Year||Dividend Yield||Total Dividend Payout (Per Share)|
The numbers speak for themselves when it comes to StarHub’s dividends. The firm’s performance in this aspect mirrors its stock prices, which is worrying. A 13.82% dividend yield in 2017 has plummeted to just 4.07% in 2021. To put things into perspective, StarHub still maintained a dividend yield of 12.2% and 14.63% during the 2007-2008 financial crisis.
On the other hand, this 4.07% dividend yield is still competitive when you take a look at other stocks on the SGX. Fellow telco Singtel had a dividend yield of 4.38% in 2020, with 3.11% being projected for 2021.
Additionally, real estate firm CapitaLand had a dividend yield of just 2.24% in 2021 and 2.99% the year before.
Therefore, you can still consider adding StarHub to your dividend investing portfolio even though it might not be performing well in recent years.
StarHub’s dividend payout schedule
|Year||Total Dividend Payout (Per Share)||Dividend Payout Date + Amount Per Share|
|2021||S$0.05||S$0.025 (21 May 2021)|
S$0.025 (31 August 2021)
|2020||S$0.048||S$0.0225 (12 June 2020)|
S$0.025 (2 September 2020)
|2019||S$0.108||S$0.04 (22 May 2019)|
S$0.0225 (28 May 2019)
S$0.0225 (30 August 2019)
S$0.0225 (27 November 2019)
StarHub has a predictable dividend payout schedule, whether it’s during COVID-19 or before the novel coronavirus struck. In 2021, it had two dividend payouts, with the first being disbursed on 21 May and the second on 31 August. It was a similar situation in 2020, with the first payout going to shareholders on 12 June and the second on 2 September.
However, StarHub’s dividend payouts before the global pandemic were twice as frequent. Take 2019 for example, where two dividend payouts were disbursed in May before a third in August and final one in November.
It remains to be seen whether the telco can reach that level of profitability again, given how dynamic the COVID-19 situation has been locally and globally.
What risks do I face when investing in StarHub?
As aforementioned, StarHub’s share prices and dividends have been in free fall across the past five years. Even if the global pandemic and recession didn’t occur, the same results would still be observed, albeit to a lesser degree.
A large indicator would be when the telco was dropped from the Straits Times Index in September 2018 after being included in it for 13 years.
And contrary to Singtel, StarHub has not expanded much, having just one overseas subsidiary in the form of Malaysian IT services company Strateq. There are only that many opportunities for growth when you’re serving the telecommunication needs of just 5.7 million people on a 50 kilometer-long island.
As a result, StarHub might be a sound choice for your dividend investing portfolio, but capital gains will take some time yet. 5G hasn’t been implemented fully in Singapore and the network’s use case is still limited.
And if StarHub continues to get outmuscled by upstart MVNOs and streaming services, it might even face the same fate as M1.
What does the future hold for StarHub?
Fortunately, the only way is up for StarHub. Singapore’s second-largest telco will heave a sigh of relief that the nation plans to loosen internal COVID-19-related restrictions and relax border closures.
The resumption of international travel will restore a source of revenue and StarHub will be quick to remind folks about the implementation of 5G throughout 2021 and 2022.
Finally, StarHub is poised for success on the sustainability front. The company has obtained an ESG rating of ‘AA’ from finance firm MSCI and was dubbed Asia’s Most Sustainable Telecommunications Company in the Corporate Knights Global 100 list. Expect it to sustain its sustainability efforts as climate change becomes a more pressing issue globally.
Perhaps it isn’t a coincidence that its logo is green.
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By Ebel Tang
A geek culture enthusiast who’s also a little too invested in the wide world of whisky and watches. And no, he was not named after the Swiss timepiece brand.