Is Red Rock Resorts, Inc. (NASDAQ:RRR) An Attractive Dividend Stock?

Today we’ll take a closer look at Red Rock Resorts, Inc. (NASDAQ:RRR) 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. If you are hoping to live on your dividends, it’s important to be more stringent with your investments than the average punter. Regular readers know we like to apply the same approach to each dividend stock, and we hope you’ll find our analysis useful.

Investors might not know much about Red Rock Resorts’s dividend prospects, even though it has been paying dividends for the last four years and offers a 2.5% yield. A low yield is generally a turn-off, but if the prospects for earnings growth were strong, investors might be pleasantly surprised by the long-term results. Remember that the recent share price drop will make Red Rock Resorts’s yield look higher, even though recent events might have impacted the company’s prospects. Some simple analysis can offer a lot of insights when buying a company for its dividend, and we’ll go through this below.

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NasdaqGS:RRR Historical Dividend Yield, March 9th 2020
NasdaqGS:RRR Historical Dividend Yield, March 9th 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. Although it reported a loss over the past 12 months, Red Rock Resorts currently pays a dividend. When a company recently reported a loss, we should investigate if its cash flows covered the dividend.

Last year, Red Rock Resorts paid a dividend while reporting negative free cash flow. While there may be an explanation, we think this behaviour is generally not sustainable.

Is Red Rock Resorts’s Balance Sheet Risky?

Given Red Rock Resorts 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 5.94 times its EBITDA, Red Rock Resorts 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. Interest cover of 1.52 times its interest expense is starting to become a concern for Red Rock Resorts, and be aware that lenders may place additional restrictions on the company as well. Low interest cover and high debt can create problems right when the investor least needs them, and we’re reluctant to rely on the dividend of companies with these traits.

We update our data on Red Rock Resorts every 24 hours, so you can always get our latest analysis of its financial health, here.

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. Looking at the data, we can see that Red Rock Resorts has been paying a dividend for the past four years. The company has been paying a stable dividend for a few years now, but we’d like to see more evidence of consistency over a longer period. Its most recent annual dividend was US$0.40 per share, effectively flat on its first payment four years ago.

It’s good to see at least some dividend growth. Yet with a relatively short dividend paying history, we wouldn’t want to depend on this dividend too heavily.

Dividend Growth Potential

Dividend payments have been consistent over the past few years, but we should always check if earnings per share (EPS) are growing, as this will help maintain the purchasing power of the dividend. Over the past five years, it looks as though Red Rock Resorts’s EPS have declined at around 47% a year. A sharp decline in earnings per share is not great from from a dividend perspective, as even conservative payout ratios can come under pressure if earnings fall far enough.

Conclusion

To summarise, shareholders should always check that Red Rock Resorts’s dividends are affordable, that its dividend payments are relatively stable, and that it has decent prospects for growing its earnings and dividend. Red Rock Resorts’s dividend is not well covered by free cash flow, plus it paid a dividend while being unprofitable. Earnings per share are down, and to our mind Red Rock Resorts has not been paying a dividend long enough to demonstrate its resilience across economic cycles. In this analysis, Red Rock Resorts 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.

Given that earnings are not growing, the dividend does not look nearly so attractive. See if the 10 analysts are forecasting a turnaround in our free collection of analyst estimates here.

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.