Today we’ll take a closer look at Grupo Security S.A. (SNSE:SECURITY) from a dividend investor’s perspective. Owning a strong business and reinvesting the dividends is widely seen as an attractive way of growing your wealth. Unfortunately, it’s common for investors to be enticed in by the seemingly attractive yield, and lose money when the company has to cut its dividend payments.
With Grupo Security yielding 7.1% and having paid a dividend for over 10 years, many investors likely find the company quite interesting. We’d guess that plenty of investors have purchased it for the income. Some simple analysis can reduce the risk of holding Grupo Security for its dividend, and we’ll focus on the most important aspects below.
Dividends are typically paid from company earnings. If a company pays more in dividends than it earned, then the dividend might become unsustainable – hardly an ideal situation. As a result, we should always investigate whether a company can afford its dividend, measured as a percentage of a company’s net income after tax. Looking at the data, we can see that 44% of Grupo Security’s profits were paid out as dividends in the last 12 months. This is a middling range that strikes a nice balance between paying dividends to shareholders, and retaining enough earnings to invest in future growth. Plus, there is room to increase the payout ratio over time.
Consider getting our latest analysis on Grupo Security’s financial position here.
One of the major risks of relying on dividend income, is the potential for a company to struggle financially and cut its dividend. Not only is your income cut, but the value of your investment declines as well – nasty. For the purpose of this article, we only scrutinise the last decade of Grupo Security’s dividend payments. Its dividend payments have declined on at least one occasion over the past ten years. During the past ten-year period, the first annual payment was CL$4.75 in 2010, compared to CL$12.25 last year. This works out to be a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 9.9% a year over that time. Grupo Security’s dividend payments have fluctuated, so it hasn’t grown 9.9% every year, but the CAGR is a useful rule of thumb for approximating the historical growth.
It’s good to see the dividend growing at a decent rate, but the dividend has been cut at least once in the past. Grupo Security might have put its house in order since then, but we remain cautious.
Dividend Growth Potential
Given that the dividend has been cut in the past, we need to check if earnings are growing and if that might lead to stronger dividends in the future. Grupo Security has grown its earnings per share at 3.1% per annum over the past five years. Grupo Security is paying out less than half of its earnings, which we like. However, earnings per share are unfortunately not growing much. Might this suggest that the company should pay a higher dividend instead?
To summarise, shareholders should always check that Grupo Security’s dividends are affordable, that its dividend payments are relatively stable, and that it has decent prospects for growing its earnings and dividend. We’re glad to see Grupo Security has a low payout ratio, as this suggests earnings are being reinvested in the business. Unfortunately, earnings growth has also been mediocre, and the company has cut its dividend at least once in the past. In summary, we’re unenthused by Grupo Security as a dividend stock. It’s not that we think it is a bad company; it simply falls short of our criteria in some key areas.
See if management have their own wealth at stake, by checking insider shareholdings in Grupo Security stock.
Looking for more high-yielding dividend ideas? Try our curated list of dividend stocks with a yield above 3%.
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned.
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