Why Utah Medical Products, Inc. (NASDAQ:UTMD) Should Be In Your Dividend Portfolio

Could Utah Medical Products, Inc. (NASDAQ:UTMD) 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.

A 1.2% yield is nothing to get excited about, but investors probably think the long payment history suggests Utah Medical Products has some staying power. Some simple research can reduce the risk of buying Utah Medical Products for its dividend – read on to learn more.

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NasdaqGS:UTMD Historical Dividend Yield, February 11th 2020
NasdaqGS:UTMD Historical Dividend Yield, February 11th 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. Comparing dividend payments to a company’s net profit after tax is a simple way of reality-checking whether a dividend is sustainable. Looking at the data, we can see that 28% of Utah Medical Products’s profits were paid out as dividends in the last 12 months. This is a middling range that strikes a nice balance between paying dividends to shareholders, and retaining enough earnings to invest in future growth. One of the risks is that management reinvests the retained capital poorly instead of paying a higher dividend.

While the above analysis focuses on dividends relative to a company’s earnings, we do note Utah Medical Products’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 Utah Medical Products’s latest financial position, by checking our visualisation of its financial health.

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. For the purpose of this article, we only scrutinise the last decade of Utah Medical Products’s dividend payments. During this period the dividend has been stable, which could imply the business could have relatively consistent earnings power. During the past ten-year period, the first annual payment was US$0.92 in 2010, compared to US$1.12 last year. This works out to be a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 2.0% a year over that time.

Slow and steady dividend growth might not sound that exciting, but dividends have been stable for ten years, which we think is seriously impressive.

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. Earnings have grown at around 5.3% a year for the past five years, which is better than seeing them shrink! It’s good to see decent earnings growth and a low payout ratio. Companies with these characteristics often display the fastest dividend growth over the long term – assuming earnings can be maintained, of course.

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. We’re glad to see Utah Medical Products has a low payout ratio, as this suggests earnings are being reinvested in the business. Second, earnings growth has been mediocre, but at least the dividends have been relatively stable. Overall, we think there are a lot of positives to Utah Medical Products from a dividend perspective.

Are management backing themselves to deliver performance? Check their shareholdings in Utah Medical Products in our latest insider ownership analysis.

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.