The FOMC’s decision on Wednesday to hike the US policy rate by another 75 basis points and sending a hawkish signal through its dot-plot and economic forecasts (read our in-depth take on the FOMC decision in our Thursday Quick Take note) will add more tailwind for dividend stocks. The reason for that is that higher interest rates will reduce equity valuations through a higher discount rate on future cash flows. Lower equity valuations will, all things being equal, have a larger impact on higher P/E ratio companies than those with low P/E ratios, because high P/E companies have a larger part of their value coming from cash flows expected far into the future.
As our table below shows, the dividend aristocrats generally have lower valuation multiples and thus have less interest rate sensitivity. In addition, higher interest rates coupled with potential recession and uncertainty lift the value of companies with higher more predictable income stream in the short-term. It is worth noting that over the past five years, global dividend stocks have delivered a significantly worse return for shareholders than the global equity market.