When I think of WH Smith, I think of a company which sells products that are either:
- in decline (physical newspapers, magazines and books),
- can be purchased more easily online (note paper, pencils, exercise books) or
- are basically extinct (CDs, DVDs and vinyl records).
In other words, my default mental image is of a company destined to become the next Woolworths.
However, if you look at WH Smith’s financial results over the last decade, you’ll see a company which has grown its earnings and dividends per share by about 10% per year, every year. That’s pretty amazing, especially for a company over 200 years old.
That’s partly why I decided to review WH Smith in my latest article for Master Investor magazine.
When I sat down to review the company in mid-October it had a share price of 1,780p and a dividend yield of around 3%, so it was no high-yield bargain.
However, combined with its double-digit dividend growth record, I thought it looked like a solid choice for dividend growth investors.
Since then, WH Smith’s share price has jumped up by about 17% to 2,050p, so the shares are not quite so attractive now, but it’s still one of the top-rated stocks on my stock screen, so I think the article is still worth reading: