Milton Corporation declares special dividend of 2.5 cents per share

The Sydney-based Milton Corporation Limited (ASX: MLT) is a publicly owned investment manager with an extensive bent towards public equity, fixed income markets, mortgages, trusts and real estate sector in Australia.

On March 25th, 2019, Milton Corporation announced the payment of a fully franked special dividend of 2.5 cents per share for its shareholders in line with its long history of distributing the same and following the last payment of special dividend in 2015. The record date for the dividend is April 9th, 2019 and the due date for the payment is April 30th, 2019. According to the company, special dividends are only rewarded when material amounts are accumulated, subject to the Board’s discretion.

Source: Company’s ASX announcement on 4th March’19

Milton’s investment orientation is more towards ASX listed companies with a history of profits and the capacity to grow dividends over time. Besides, the company operates with an internal management structure, that largely lowers the administrative costs as a percentage of total assets when compared to many externally managed entities.

In the recently released Monthly NTA And Portfolio Report for February 2019, the net tangible assets (NTA) per share before tax stood at AUD 4.71 and after tax at AUD 4.14. As for the latest investment portfolio composition, banks constitute around 26.9% of Milton Corporation’s total assets followed by companies from the materials (11%) and energy (10.5%) sector. Other prominent components include Health Care (5%), consumer staples (8.5%), industrials (7.5%) etc.

Moreover, for the year to February 28th, 2019, the total portfolio return (TPR) for the company was recorded at 6.5% along with the total shareholder return (TSR) of 1.30%, on annual basis. As of date, the total assets are valued at AUD 3.2 billion and the Management Expense Ratio (MER) is around 0.13%.

In January 2019, Milton released financial results for the half-year ended December 31st, 2019, posting the operating revenue at $ 72.6 million, up 4.6% and the special investment revenue at $ 1.7 million, also up 167.3% on the prior corresponding period (PCP) ended December 31st, 2017. The company also recorded an upswing in earnings with the profit after tax attributable to shareholders (including special investment revenue & acquisition costs net of tax) of $ 70.7 million, up 6.2% and the corresponding earnings per share (basic and diluted) of 10.66 cents, up 5% on PCP.

During the half-year, the portfolio grew with the addition of around $ 56-million of new equity investments, partly funded by disposals worth $ 15 million. These Investments include RIO ($ 6.1 million), AGL ($ 7.1 million), Transurban ($ 7.3 million), Cleanaway ($ 10.3 million) and BHP ($ 7.5 million). Besides, Vicinity Centres ($ 5.0 million) and Graincorp ($ 2.9 million) were two of the larger disposals.

The net cash assets at the end of the period amounted to ~$ 126.21 million resulting from cash inflows of ~$ 89.65 million from operating activities and cash outflows of $ 33.61 million and $ 61.64 million from investing and financing activities.

Milton has a current market of AUD 3.01 billion. On Monday, March 25th, 2019 at 03:58 PM AEST, the MLT stock price was trending at AUD 4.480, slightly down 0.44%. MLT has generated a YTD return of 4.65% so far.


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