Should investors be worried about the top ASX Income Stocks losing the sheen on dividends?

As widely known now, stocks that pay high dividends on a sustainable basis make up a significant part of the ASX Income portfolio as the investors keep on receiving consistent returns of the share market through such stocks. However, the portfolio now seems to have witnessed a jitter with recent developments at individual stock level and macro scenario at large.

The top income stocks on ASX that have been eyed and grabbed by many investors for years, include the big four banks and Telstra, which have recently caught attention with respect to their dividend paying capabilities. These stocks have been said to contribute to about half of the dividends paid in 2017. However, the recent financial performances have led some of these stocks trade on a downswing with dividend cuts being introduced to a large extent. For instance, Telstra has slashed its dividends by about 30% for next year at the back of the earnings hole and competitive landscape. As a result, top shot mining stocks and utilities’ stocks have started looking more appealing to some investors. For instance, BHP Billiton has declared a higher dividend this year and this in a way fills out the gaps made by the likes of Telstra. But at the same time, it is recollected that BHP had cut its dividend by 75% in 2016 at the back of lower than expected financial performance and commodity price movement. Fortescue is another miner that has paid good dividends to the shareholders recently.   

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