Should CVR Energy, Inc. (NYSE:CVI) Be Part Of Your Dividend Portfolio?

Could CVR Energy, Inc. (NYSE:CVI) 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. Yet sometimes, investors buy a popular dividend stock because of its yield, and then lose money if the company’s dividend doesn’t live up to expectations.

So you might want to consider getting our latest analysis on CVR Energy’s financial health here.

With a goodly-sized dividend yield despite a relatively short payment history, investors might be wondering if CVR Energy is a new dividend aristocrat in the making. We’d agree the yield does look enticing. 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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NYSE:CVI Historical Dividend Yield, November 10th 2019
NYSE:CVI Historical Dividend Yield, November 10th 2019

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. So we need to form a view on if a company’s dividend is sustainable, relative to its net profit after tax. CVR Energy paid out 70% of its profit as dividends, over the trailing twelve month period. A payout ratio above 50% generally implies a business is reaching maturity, although it is still possible to reinvest in the business or increase the dividend over time.

In addition to comparing dividends against profits, we should inspect whether the company generated enough cash to pay its dividend. CVR Energy paid out a conservative 49% of its free cash flow as dividends last year. It’s positive to see that CVR Energy’s dividend is covered by both profits and cash flow, since this is generally a sign that the dividend is sustainable, and a lower payout ratio usually suggests a greater margin of safety before the dividend gets cut.

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. The first recorded dividend for CVR Energy, in the last decade, was eight years ago. Although it has been paying a dividend for several years now, the dividend has been cut at least once by more than 20%, and we’re cautious about the consistency of its dividend across a full economic cycle. During the past eight-year period, the first annual payment was US$0.32 in 2011, compared to US$3.20 last year. Dividends per share have grown at approximately 33% per year over this time. CVR Energy’s dividend payments have fluctuated, so it hasn’t grown 33% every year, but the CAGR is a useful rule of thumb for approximating the historical growth.

So, its dividends have grown at a rapid rate over this time, but payments have been cut in the past. The stock may still be worth considering as part of a diversified dividend portfolio.

Dividend Growth Potential

Given that the dividend has been cut in the past, we need to check if earnings are growing and if that might lead to stronger dividends in the future. CVR Energy’s earnings per share have been essentially flat over the past five years. Flat earnings per share are acceptable for a time, but over the long term, the purchasing power of the company’s dividends could be eroded by inflation. Growth of 0.5% is relatively anaemic growth, which we wonder about. If the company is struggling to grow, perhaps that’s why it elects to pay out more than half of its earnings to shareholders.

Conclusion

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. First, we think CVR Energy has an acceptable payout ratio and its dividend is well covered by cashflow. Unfortunately, the company has not been able to generate earnings growth, and cut its dividend at least once in the past. Ultimately, CVR Energy comes up short on our dividend analysis. It’s not that we think it is a bad company – just that there are likely more appealing dividend prospects out there on this analysis.

Are management backing themselves to deliver performance? Check their shareholdings in CVR Energy in our latest insider ownership analysis.

We have also put together a list of global stocks with a market capitalisation above $1bn and yielding more 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.