Should You Buy Topdanmark A/S (CPH:TOP) For Its 3.1% Dividend?

Could Topdanmark A/S (CPH:TOP) 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.

Topdanmark pays a 3.1% dividend yield, and has been paying dividends for the past two years. It’s certainly an attractive yield, but readers are likely curious about its staying power. Some simple research can reduce the risk of buying Topdanmark for its dividend – read on to learn more.

Explore this interactive chart for our latest analysis on Topdanmark!

CPSE:TOP Historical Dividend Yield June 24th 2020
CPSE:TOP Historical Dividend Yield June 24th 2020

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. Looking at the data, we can see that 81% of Topdanmark’s profits were paid out as dividends in the last 12 months. It’s paying out most of its earnings, which limits the amount that can be reinvested in the business. This may indicate limited need for further capital within the business, or highlight a commitment to paying a dividend.

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

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. It has only been paying dividends for a few short years, and the dividend has already been cut at least once. This is one income stream we’re not ready to live on. During the past two-year period, the first annual payment was ø19.00 in 2018, compared to ø8.50 last year. This works out to a decline of approximately 55% over that time.

When a company’s per-share dividend falls we question if this reflects poorly on either external business conditions, or the company’s capital allocation decisions. Either way, we find it hard to get excited about a company with a declining dividend.

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. In the last five years, Topdanmark’s earnings per share have shrunk at approximately 6.1% per annum. If earnings continue to decline, the dividend may come under pressure. Every investor should make an assessment of whether the company is taking steps to stabilise the situation.

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. Topdanmark’s payout ratio is within normal bounds. Second, earnings per share have been in decline, and its dividend has been cut at least once in the past. With this information in mind, we think Topdanmark may not be an ideal dividend stock.

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. For instance, we’ve picked out 1 warning sign for Topdanmark that investors should take into consideration.

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