Dividend paying stocks like Dubai Investments PJSC (DFM:DIC) 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 high yield and a long history of paying dividends is an appealing combination for Dubai Investments PJSC. It would not be a surprise to discover that many investors buy it for the dividends. Remember though, due to the recent spike in its share price, Dubai Investments PJSC's yield will look lower, even though the market may now be factoring in an improvement in its long-term prospects. Before you buy any stock for its dividend however, you should always remember Warren Buffett's two rules: 1) Don't lose money, and 2) Remember rule #1. We'll run through some checks below to help with this.
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. Comparing dividend payments to a company's net profit after tax is a simple way of reality-checking whether a dividend is sustainable. Dubai Investments PJSC paid out 69% of its profit as dividends, over the trailing twelve month period. This is a healthy payout ratio, and while it does limit the amount of earnings that can be reinvested in the business, there is also some room to lift the payout ratio over time.
Another important check we do is to see if the free cash flow generated is sufficient to pay the dividend. Dubai Investments PJSC paid out 109% of its free cash flow last year, which we think is concerning if cash flows do not improve. Dubai Investments PJSC paid out less in dividends than it reported in profits, but unfortunately it didn't generate enough free cash flow to cover the dividend. Cash is king, as they say, and were Dubai Investments PJSC to repeatedly pay dividends that aren't well covered by cashflow, we would consider this a warning sign.
Remember, you can always get a snapshot of Dubai Investments PJSC's latest financial position, by checking our visualisation of its financial health.
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 Dubai Investments PJSC'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 10-year period, the first annual payment was د.إ0.05 in 2011, compared to د.إ0.1 last year. This works out to be a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 7.1% a year over that time.
Companies like this, growing their dividend at a decent rate, can be very valuable over the long term, if the rate of growth can be maintained.
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. Over the past five years, it looks as though Dubai Investments PJSC's EPS have declined at around 11% a year. A sharp decline in earnings per share is not great from from a dividend perspective, as even conservative payout ratios can come under pressure if earnings fall far enough.
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 Dubai Investments PJSC has an acceptable payout ratio, although its dividend was not well covered by cashflow. Moreover, earnings have been shrinking. While the dividends have been fairly steady, we'd wonder for how much longer this will be sustainable if earnings continue to decline. In summary, Dubai Investments PJSC has a number of shortcomings that we'd find it hard to get past. Things could change, but we think there are likely more attractive alternatives out there.
It's important to note that companies having a consistent dividend policy will generate greater investor confidence than those having an erratic one. Meanwhile, despite the importance of dividend payments, they are not the only factors our readers should know when assessing a company. For example, we've identified 3 warning signs for Dubai Investments PJSC (1 makes us a bit uncomfortable!) that you should be aware of before investing.
Looking for more high-yielding dividend ideas? Try our curated list of dividend stocks with a yield above 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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