Should You Buy PWR Holdings Limited (ASX:PWH) For Its Dividend?

Today we’ll take a closer look at PWR Holdings Limited (ASX:PWH) from a dividend investor’s perspective. Owning a strong dividend company and reinvesting the dividends is widely seen as an attractive way of growing your wealth. Unfortunately, one common occurrence with dividend companies is for investors to be enticed in by the seemingly attractive yield, and lose money when the company has to cut its dividend payments.

Some readers mightn’t know much about PWR Holdings’s 2.1% dividend, as it has only been paying distributions for the last three years. While it may not look like much, if earnings are growing it could become quite interesting. There are a few simple ways to reduce the risks of buying PWR Holdings for its dividend, and we’ll go through these below.

Click the interactive chart for our full dividend analysis
ASX:PWH Historical Dividend Yield, April 17th 2019
ASX:PWH Historical Dividend Yield, April 17th 2019

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. 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, PWR Holdings paid out 65% of its profit as dividends. 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.

We also measure dividends paid against a company’s levered free cash flow, to see if enough cash was generated to cover the dividend. The company paid out 77% of its free cash flow as dividends last year, which is adequate, but reduces the wriggle room in the event of a downturn.

Consider getting our latest analysis on PWR Holdings’s financial position here.

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. 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 three-year period, the first annual payment was AU$0.012 in 2016, compared to AU$0.078 last year. Dividends per share have grown at approximately 85% per year over this time.

We’re not overly excited about the relatively short history of dividend payments, however the dividend is growing at a nice rate and we might take a closer look.

Dividend Growth Potential

Examining whether the dividend is affordable and stable is important. However, it’s also important to assess if earnings per share (EPS) are growing. Over the long term, dividends need to grow at or above the rate of inflation, in order to maintain the recipient’s purchasing power. Strong earnings per share (EPS) growth might encourage our interest in the company despite fluctuating dividends, which is why it’s great to see PWR Holdings has grown its earnings per share at 28% per annum over the past five years. Earnings per share are sharply up, but we wonder if paying out more than half its earnings (leaving less for reinvestment) is an implicit signal that PWR Holdings’s growth will be slower in the future.

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. First, we think PWR Holdings is paying out an acceptable percentage of its cashflow and profit. Next, earnings growth has been good, but unfortunately the company has not been paying dividends as long as we’d like. Ultimately, PWR Holdings comes up short on our dividend analysis. It’s not that we think it is a bad company – just that there are likely more appealing dividend prospects out there on this analysis.

Now, if you want to look closer, it would be worth checking out our free research on PWR Holdings management tenure, salary, and performance.

We have also put together a list of global stocks with a market capitalisation above $1bn and yielding more 3%.

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.

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. Thank you for reading.