Could China Boqi Environmental (Holding) Co., Ltd. (HKG:2377) 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. On the other hand, investors have been known to buy a stock because of its yield, and then lose money if the company’s dividend doesn’t live up to expectations.
China Boqi Environmental (Holding) has only been paying a dividend for a year or so, so investors might be curious about its 1.6% yield. Remember though, due to the recent spike in its share price, China Boqi Environmental (Holding)’s yield will look lower, even though the market may now be factoring in an improvement in its long-term prospects. Some simple analysis can offer a lot of insights when buying a company for its dividend, and we’ll go through this below.
Dividends are usually paid out of company earnings. If a company is paying more than it earns, 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. China Boqi Environmental (Holding) paid out 14% of its profit as dividends, over the trailing twelve month period. We like this low payout ratio, because it implies the dividend is well covered and leaves ample opportunity for reinvestment.
We also measure dividends paid against a company’s levered free cash flow, to see if enough cash was generated to cover the dividend. Unfortunately, while China Boqi Environmental (Holding) 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.
While the above analysis focuses on dividends relative to a company’s earnings, we do note China Boqi Environmental (Holding)’s strong net cash position, which will let it pay larger dividends for a time, should it choose.
Remember, you can always get a snapshot of China Boqi Environmental (Holding)’s latest financial position, by checking our visualisation of its financial health.
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. As we can see, dividend payments have fallen heavily from where they were one years ago.
A shrinking dividend over a one-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
Examining whether the dividend is affordable and stable is important. However, it’s also important to assess if earnings per share (EPS) are growing. Over the long term, dividends need to grow at or above the rate of inflation, in order to maintain the recipient’s purchasing power. Earnings have grown at around 2.8% a year for the past five years, which is better than seeing them shrink! Growth has been hard to come by. On the plus side, the dividend payout ratio is low and dividends could grow faster than earnings, if the company decides to increase its payout ratio.
When we look at a dividend stock, we need to form a judgement on whether the dividend will grow, if the company is able to maintain it in a wide range of economic circumstances, and if the dividend payout is sustainable. China Boqi Environmental (Holding) has a low payout ratio, which we like, although it paid out virtually all of its generated cash. Unfortunately, earnings growth has also been mediocre, and we think it has not been paying dividends long enough to demonstrate resilience across economic cycles. While we’re not hugely bearish on it, overall we think there are potentially better dividend stocks than China Boqi Environmental (Holding) out there.
Market movements attest to how highly valued a consistent dividend policy is compared to one which is more unpredictable. At the same time, there are other factors our readers should be conscious of before pouring capital into a stock. As an example, we’ve identified 2 warning signs for China Boqi Environmental (Holding) that you should be aware of before investing.
If you are a dividend investor, you might also want to look at our curated list of dividend stocks yielding above 3%.
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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. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.
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