Could Sadbhav Infrastructure Project Limited (NSE:SADBHIN) be an attractive dividend share to own for the long haul? Investors are often drawn to strong companies with the idea of reinvesting the dividends. Yet sometimes, investors buy a stock for its dividend and lose money because the share price falls by more than they earned in dividend payments.
Some readers mightn’t know much about Sadbhav Infrastructure Project’s 1.1% dividend, as it has only been paying distributions for the last two years. Many of the best dividend stocks typically start out paying a low yield, so we wouldn’t automatically cut it from our list of prospects. Some simple research can reduce the risk of buying Sadbhav Infrastructure Project for its dividend – read on to learn more.
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. Comparing dividend payments to a company’s net profit after tax is a simple way of reality-checking whether a dividend is sustainable. While Sadbhav Infrastructure Project pays a dividend, it reported a loss over the last year. When a company is loss-making, we next need to check to see if its cash flows can support the dividend.
Sadbhav Infrastructure Project’s cash payout ratio last year was 24%, which is quite low and suggests that the dividend was thoroughly covered by cash flow.
Is Sadbhav Infrastructure Project’s Balance Sheet Risky?
Given Sadbhav Infrastructure Project is paying a dividend but reported a loss over the past year, we need to check its balance sheet for signs of financial distress. A quick check of its financial situation can be done with two ratios: net debt divided by EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation), and net interest cover. Net debt to EBITDA is a measure of a company’s total debt. Net interest cover measures the ability to meet interest payments. Essentially we check that a) the company does not have too much debt, and b) that it can afford to pay the interest. With net debt of 9.28 times its EBITDA, Sadbhav Infrastructure Project could be described as a highly leveraged company. While some companies can handle this level of leverage, we’d be concerned about the dividend sustainability if there was any risk of an earnings downturn.
We calculated its interest cover by measuring its earnings before interest and tax (EBIT), and dividing this by the company’s net interest expense. Sadbhav Infrastructure Project has interest cover of less than 1 – which suggests its earnings are not high enough to cover even the interest payments on its debt. This is potentially quite serious, and we would likely avoid the stock if it were not resolved quickly. High debt and weak interest cover are not a great combo, and we would be cautious of relying on this company’s dividend while these metrics persist.
From the perspective of an income investor who wants to earn dividends for many years, there is not much point buying a stock if its dividend is regularly cut or is not reliable. It has only been paying dividends for a few short years, and the dividend has already been cut at least once. This is one income stream we’re not ready to live on. During the past two-year period, the first annual payment was ₹0.40 in 2017, compared to ₹0.50 last year. Dividends per share have grown at approximately 12% per year over this time. The growth in dividends has not been linear, but the CAGR is a decent approximation of the rate of change over this time frame.
It’s not great to see that the payment has been cut in the past. We’re generally more wary of companies that have cut their dividend before, as they tend to perform worse in an economic downturn.
Dividend Growth Potential
With a relatively unstable dividend, it’s even more important to evaluate if earnings per share (EPS) are growing – it’s not worth taking the risk on a dividend getting cut, unless you might be rewarded with larger dividends in future. Earnings have grown at around 5.9% a year for the past five years, which is better than seeing them shrink! Earnings per share have been growing at a credible rate. What’s more, the payout ratio is reasonable and provides some protection to the dividend, or even the potential to increase it.
Dividend investors should always want to know if a) a company’s dividends are affordable, b) if there is a track record of consistent payments, and c) if the dividend is capable of growing. We’re not keen on the fact that Sadbhav Infrastructure Project paid dividends despite reporting a loss over the past year, although fortunately its dividend was covered by cash flow. Second, earnings growth has been ordinary, and its history of dividend payments is chequered – having cut its dividend at least once in the past. Ultimately, Sadbhav Infrastructure Project comes up short on our dividend analysis. It’s not that we think it is a bad company – just that there are likely more appealing dividend prospects out there on this analysis.
Now, if you want to look closer, it would be worth checking out our free research on Sadbhav Infrastructure Project management tenure, salary, and performance.
Looking for more high-yielding dividend ideas? Try our curated list of dividend stocks with a yield above 3%.
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