Why ANTA Sports Products Limited (HKG:2020) Is A Top Dividend Stock

Dividend paying stocks like ANTA Sports Products Limited (HKG:2020) tend to be popular with investors, and for good reason – some research suggests a significant amount of all stock market returns come from reinvested dividends. 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.

A slim 1.5% yield is hard to get excited about, but the long payment history is respectable. At the right price, or with strong growth opportunities, ANTA Sports Products could have potential. Remember that the recent share price drop will make ANTA Sports Products’s yield look higher, even though recent events might have impacted the company’s prospects. Some simple analysis can reduce the risk of holding ANTA Sports Products for its dividend, and we’ll focus on the most important aspects below.

Explore this interactive chart for our latest analysis on ANTA Sports Products!

SEHK:2020 Historical Dividend Yield, March 24th 2020
SEHK:2020 Historical Dividend Yield, March 24th 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. Looking at the data, we can see that 31% of ANTA Sports Products’s profits were paid out as dividends in the last 12 months. A medium payout ratio strikes a good balance between paying dividends, and keeping enough back to invest in the business. One of the risks is that management reinvests the retained capital poorly instead of paying a higher dividend.

We also measure dividends paid against a company’s levered free cash flow, to see if enough cash was generated to cover the dividend. ANTA Sports Products paid out a conservative 36% of its free cash flow as dividends last year. It’s encouraging to see that the dividend is covered by both profit and cash flow. This generally suggests the dividend is sustainable, as long as earnings don’t drop precipitously.

With a strong net cash balance, ANTA Sports Products investors may not have much to worry about in the near term from a dividend perspective.

Remember, you can always get a snapshot of ANTA Sports Products’s latest financial position, by checking our visualisation of its financial health.

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. For the purpose of this article, we only scrutinise the last decade of ANTA Sports Products’s dividend payments. This dividend has been unstable, which we define as having been cut one or more times over this time. During the past ten-year period, the first annual payment was CN¥0.21 in 2010, compared to CN¥0.66 last year. This works out to be a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 12% a year over that time. ANTA Sports Products’s dividend payments have fluctuated, so it hasn’t grown 12% every year, but the CAGR is a useful rule of thumb for approximating the historical growth.

ANTA Sports Products has grown distributions at a rapid rate despite cutting the dividend at least once in the past. Companies that cut once often cut again, but it might be worth considering if the business has turned a corner.

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 ANTA Sports Products has grown its earnings per share at 27% 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

Dividend investors should always want to know if a) a company’s dividends are affordable, b) if there is a track record of consistent payments, and c) if the dividend is capable of growing. It’s great to see that ANTA Sports Products is paying out a low percentage of its earnings and cash flow. We were also glad to see it growing earnings, but it was concerning to see the dividend has been cut at least once in the past. Overall we think ANTA Sports Products scores well on our analysis. It’s not quite perfect, but we’d definitely be keen to take a closer look.

Investors generally tend to favour companies with a consistent, stable dividend policy as opposed to those operating an irregular one. At the same time, there are other factors our readers should be conscious of before pouring capital into a stock. Taking the debate a bit further, we’ve identified 2 warning signs for ANTA Sports Products that investors need to be conscious of moving forward.

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.