Why Terveystalo Oyj (HEL:TTALO) Is A Dividend Rockstar

Is Terveystalo Oyj (HEL:TTALO) a good dividend stock? How can we tell? Dividend paying companies with growing earnings can be highly rewarding in the long term. 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.

Some readers mightn’t know much about Terveystalo Oyj’s 2.2% dividend, as it has only been paying distributions for the last two years. While it may not look like much, if earnings are growing it could become quite interesting. The company also returned around 1.7% of its market capitalisation to shareholders in the form of stock buybacks over the past year. Some simple analysis can reduce the risk of holding Terveystalo Oyj for its dividend, and we’ll focus on the most important aspects below.

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HLSE:TTALO Historical Dividend Yield, February 20th 2020
HLSE:TTALO Historical Dividend Yield, February 20th 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. As a result, we should always investigate whether a company can afford its dividend, measured as a percentage of a company’s net income after tax. In the last year, Terveystalo Oyj paid out 47% of its profit as dividends. This is a middling range that strikes a nice balance between paying dividends to shareholders, and retaining enough earnings to invest in future growth. Plus, there is room to increase the payout ratio over time.

Is Terveystalo Oyj’s Balance Sheet Risky?

As Terveystalo Oyj has a meaningful amount of debt, we need to check its balance sheet to see if the company might have debt risks. A rough way to check this is with these two simple ratios: a) net debt divided by EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation), and b) net interest cover. Net debt to EBITDA measures total debt load relative to company earnings (lower = less debt), while net interest cover measures the ability to pay interest on the debt (higher = greater ability to pay interest costs). With net debt of 2.16 times its EBITDA, Terveystalo Oyj has a noticeable amount of debt, although if business stays steady, this may not be overly concerning.

Net interest cover can be calculated by dividing earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) by the company’s net interest expense. Net interest cover of 5.54 times its interest expense appears reasonable for Terveystalo Oyj, although we’re conscious that even high interest cover doesn’t make a company bulletproof.

Consider getting our latest analysis on Terveystalo Oyj’s financial position 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. The company has been paying a stable dividend for a few years now, but we’d like to see more evidence of consistency over a longer period. During the past two-year period, the first annual payment was €0.06 in 2018, compared to €0.26 last year. Dividends per share have grown at approximately 108% per year over this time.

Terveystalo Oyj has been growing its dividend quite rapidly, which is exciting. However, the short payment history makes us question whether this performance will persist across a full market cycle.

Dividend Growth Potential

While dividend payments have been relatively reliable, it would also be nice if earnings per share (EPS) were growing, as this is essential to maintaining the dividend’s purchasing power over the long term. Strong earnings per share (EPS) growth might encourage our interest in the company despite fluctuating dividends, which is why it’s great to see Terveystalo Oyj has grown its earnings per share at 52% per annum over the past five years. With high earnings per share growth in recent times and a modest payout ratio, we think this is an attractive combination if earnings can be reinvested to generate further growth.

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. We’re glad to see Terveystalo Oyj has a low payout ratio, as this suggests earnings are being reinvested in the business. Next, earnings growth has been good, but unfortunately the company has not been paying dividends as long as we’d like. Terveystalo Oyj fits all of our criteria, and we think there are a lot of positives to it from a dividend perspective.

Earnings growth generally bodes well for the future value of company dividend payments. See if the 6 Terveystalo Oyj analysts we track are forecasting continued growth with our free report on 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%.

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.