With a trailing 12-month dividend yield of 1.06%, the VanEck Vectors Morningstar Wide Moat ETF (NYSEArca: MOAT) is not known as a high dividend play, but there is another dividend benefit to consider with wide moat firms: dividend safety.
While not all of MOAT’s 49 holdings are dividend payers, the fund’s components that do pay have dividends have payouts that look safe and several of those names have displayed solid dividend growth with the potential to continue that trend.
The $1.6 billion MOAT tracks the Morningstar Wide Moat Focus Index, “which is intended to track the overall performance of attractively priced companies with sustainable competitive advantages according to Morningstar’s equity research team,” according to Morningstar.
“By targeting companies with competitive advantages and healthy balance sheets, the methodology emphasizes dividend payments that can be sustained and ultimately grown over time,” said Morningstar in a recent note. “The assessment of competitive advantage relies on the insights of Morningstar’s equity analyst team, whose proprietary Morningstar Economic Moat Rating measures the sustainability of the profits that fund dividends. The methodology also incorporates Distance to Default, a measure of financial health that aims to forecast the likelihood of bankruptcy.”
MOAT’s success spurred the creation of the VanEck Vectors Morningstar Durable Dividend ETF (DURA) and VanEck Vectors Morningstar Global Wide Moat ETF (GOAT).