OneSavings Bank Plc (LON:OSB) Is An Attractive Dividend Stock – Here’s Why

Could OneSavings Bank Plc (LON:OSB) 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.

In this case, OneSavings Bank likely looks attractive to dividend investors, given its 4.3% dividend yield and four-year payment history. We’d agree the yield does look enticing. When buying stocks for their dividends, you should always run through the checks below, to see if the dividend looks sustainable.

Click the interactive chart for our full dividend analysis

LSE:OSB Historical Dividend Yield, August 9th 2019
LSE:OSB Historical Dividend Yield, August 9th 2019

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. Comparing dividend payments to a company’s net profit after tax is a simple way of reality-checking whether a dividend is sustainable. OneSavings Bank paid out 26% of its profit as dividends, over the trailing twelve month period. This is a middling range that strikes a nice balance between paying dividends to shareholders, and retaining enough earnings to invest in future growth. Besides, if reinvestment opportunities dry up, the company has room to increase the dividend.

Dividend Volatility

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. Looking at the data, we can see that OneSavings Bank has been paying a dividend for the past four years. 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 four-year period, the first annual payment was UK£0.039 in 2015, compared to UK£0.15 last year. This works out to be a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 39% a year over that time. OneSavings Bank’s dividend payments have fluctuated, so it hasn’t grown 39% every year, but the CAGR is a useful rule of thumb for approximating the historical growth.

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. Strong earnings per share (EPS) growth might encourage our interest in the company despite fluctuating dividends, which is why it’s great to see OneSavings Bank has grown its earnings per share at 33% per annum over the past five years. Earnings per share have rocketed in recent times, and we like that the company is retaining more than half of its earnings to reinvest. However, always remember that very few companies can grow at double digit rates forever.

Conclusion

To summarise, shareholders should always check that OneSavings Bank’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 OneSavings Bank has a low payout ratio, as this suggests earnings are being reinvested in the business. Second, earnings per share have been essentially flat, and its history of dividend payments is chequered – having cut its dividend at least once in the past. OneSavings Bank has a credible record on several fronts, but falls slightly short of our standards for a dividend stock.

Companies that are growing earnings tend to be the best dividend stocks over the long term. See what the 7 analysts we track are forecasting for OneSavings Bank for free with public analyst estimates for the company.

If you are a dividend investor, you might also want to look at our curated list of dividend stocks yielding above 3%.

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.

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. Thank you for reading.