How Does Parsley Energy, Inc. (NYSE:PE) Fare As A Dividend Stock?

Could Parsley Energy, Inc. (NYSE:PE) 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. If you are hoping to live on the income from dividends, it’s important to be a lot more stringent with your investments than the average punter.

Remember that the recent share price drop will make Parsley Energy’s yield look higher, even though recent events might have impacted the company’s prospects. Some simple research can reduce the risk of buying Parsley Energy for its dividend – read on to learn more.

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NYSE:PE Historical Dividend Yield May 4th 2020
NYSE:PE Historical Dividend Yield May 4th 2020

Payout ratios

Companies (usually) pay dividends out of their earnings. If a company is paying more than it earns, the dividend might have to be cut. 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 9.6% of Parsley Energy’s profits were paid out as dividends in the last 12 months. We’d say its dividends are thoroughly covered by earnings.

Another important check we do is to see if the free cash flow generated is sufficient to pay the dividend. Unfortunately, while Parsley Energy pays a dividend, it also reported negative free cash flow last year. While there may be a good reason for this, it’s not ideal from a dividend perspective.

Is Parsley Energy’s Balance Sheet Risky?

As Parsley Energy has a meaningful amount of debt, we need to check its balance sheet to see if the company might have debt risks. 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 1.63 times its EBITDA, Parsley Energy has an acceptable level of debt.

We calculated its interest cover by measuring its earnings before interest and tax (EBIT), and dividing this by the company’s net interest expense. Interest cover of 3.27 times its interest expense is starting to become a concern for Parsley Energy, and be aware that lenders may place additional restrictions on the company as well.

Remember, you can always get a snapshot of Parsley Energy’s latest financial position, by checking our visualisation of its financial health.

Dividend Volatility

Before buying a stock for its income, we want to see if the dividends have been stable in the past, and if the company has a track record of maintaining its dividend. This company has been paying a dividend for less than 2 years, which we think is too soon to consider it a reliable dividend stock.

Modest dividend growth is good to see, especially with the payments being relatively stable. However, the payment history is relatively short and we wouldn’t want to rely on this dividend too much.

Dividend Growth Potential

The other half of the dividend investing equation is evaluating whether earnings per share (EPS) are growing. Growing EPS can help maintain or increase the purchasing power of the dividend over the long run. While there may be fluctuations in the past , Parsley Energy’s earnings per share have basically not grown from where they were five years ago. Over the long term, steady earnings per share is a risk as the value of the dividends can be reduced by inflation.

Conclusion

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. Parsley Energy has a low payout ratio, which we like, although it paid out virtually all of its generated cash. Earnings per share have been falling, and the company has a relatively short dividend history – shorter than we like, anyway. With this information in mind, we think Parsley Energy may not be an ideal dividend stock.

Companies possessing a stable dividend policy will likely enjoy greater investor interest than those suffering from a more inconsistent approach. Still, investors need to consider a host of other factors, apart from dividend payments, when analysing a company. Just as an example, we’ve come accross 5 warning signs for Parsley Energy you should be aware of, and 1 of them can’t be ignored.

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 editorial-team@simplywallst.com. 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.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Thank you for reading.