Is G & M Holdings Limited (HKG:6038) A Good Dividend Stock?

Is G & M Holdings Limited (HKG:6038) a good dividend stock? How can we tell? Dividend paying companies with growing earnings can be highly rewarding in the long term. 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.

G & M Holdings pays a 8.6% dividend yield, and has been paying dividends for the past two years. A high yield probably looks enticing, but investors are likely wondering about the short payment history. There are a few simple ways to reduce the risks of buying G & M Holdings for its dividend, and we’ll go through these below.

Explore this interactive chart for our latest analysis on G & M Holdings!

SEHK:6038 Historical Dividend Yield, January 10th 2020
SEHK:6038 Historical Dividend Yield, January 10th 2020

Payout ratios

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. So we need to form a view on if a company’s dividend is sustainable, relative to its net profit after tax. Looking at the data, we can see that 51% of G & M Holdings’s profits were paid out as dividends in the last 12 months. This is a fairly normal payout ratio among most businesses. It allows a higher dividend to be paid to shareholders, but does limit the capital retained in the business – which could be good or bad.

In addition to comparing dividends against profits, we should inspect whether the company generated enough cash to pay its dividend. G & M Holdings paid out 296% of its free cash flow last year, which we think is concerning if cash flows do not improve. Paying out more than 100% of your free cash flow in dividends is generally not a long-term, sustainable state of affairs, so we think shareholders should watch this metric closely. G & M Holdings paid out less in dividends than it reported in profits, but unfortunately it didn’t generate enough free cash flow to cover the dividend. Were it to repeatedly pay dividends that were not well covered by cash flow, this could be a risk to G & M Holdings’s ability to maintain its dividend.

While the above analysis focuses on dividends relative to a company’s earnings, we do note G & M Holdings’s strong net cash position, which will let it pay larger dividends for a time, should it choose.

We update our data on G & M Holdings every 24 hours, so you can always get our latest analysis of its financial health, here.

Dividend Volatility

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. This company’s dividend has been unstable, and with a relatively short history, we think it’s a little soon to draw strong conclusions about its long term dividend potential. During the past two-year period, the first annual payment was HK$0.024 in 2018, compared to HK$0.018 last year. The dividend has fallen 25% over that period.

A shrinking dividend over a two-year period is not ideal, and we’d be concerned about investing in a dividend stock that lacks a solid record of growing dividends per share.

Dividend Growth Potential

With a relatively unstable dividend, and a poor history of shrinking dividends, it’s even more important to see if EPS are growing. Over the past five years, it looks as though G & M Holdings’s EPS have declined at around 2.8% a year. A modest decline in earnings per share is not great to see, but it doesn’t automatically make a dividend unsustainable. Still, we’d vastly prefer to see EPS growth when researching dividend stocks.

Conclusion

To summarise, shareholders should always check that G & M Holdings’s dividends are affordable, that its dividend payments are relatively stable, and that it has decent prospects for growing its earnings and dividend. First, the company has a payout ratio that was within an average range for most dividend stocks, but it paid out virtually all of its generated cash flow. Second, earnings per share have been in decline, and its dividend has been cut at least once in the past. In this analysis, G & M Holdings doesn’t shape up too well as a dividend stock. We’d find it hard to look past the flaws, and would not be inclined to think of it as a reliable dividend-payer.

You can also discover whether shareholders are aligned with insider interests by checking our visualisation of insider shareholdings and trades in G & M Holdings stock.

If you are a dividend investor, you might also want to look at our curated list of dividend stocks yielding 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.