Is Australian Finance Group Limited (ASX:AFG) A Smart Choice For Dividend Investors?

A large part of investment returns can be generated by dividend-paying stock given their role in compounding returns over time. Australian Finance Group Limited (ASX:AFG) has recently paid dividends to shareholders, and currently yields 8.0%. Let’s dig deeper into whether Australian Finance Group should have a place in your portfolio.

Check out our latest analysis for Australian Finance Group

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5 questions to ask before buying a dividend stock

When researching a dividend stock, I always follow the following screening criteria:

  • Is their annual yield among the top 25% of dividend payers?
  • Has its dividend been stable over the past (i.e. no missed payments or significant payout cuts)?
  • Has dividend per share amount increased over the past?
  • Is its earnings sufficient to payout dividend at the current rate?
  • Will the company be able to keep paying dividend based on the future earnings growth?
ASX:AFG Historical Dividend Yield January 31st 19
ASX:AFG Historical Dividend Yield January 31st 19

How well does Australian Finance Group fit our criteria?

The company currently pays out 67% of its earnings as a dividend, according to its trailing twelve-month data, which means that the dividend is covered by earnings. In the near future, analysts are predicting a higher payout ratio of 77% which, assuming the share price stays the same, leads to a dividend yield of around 9.8%. However, EPS is forecasted to fall to A$0.15 in the upcoming year. Therefore, although payout is expected to increase, the fall in earnings may not equate to higher dividend income.

When assessing the forecast sustainability of a dividend it is also worth considering the cash flow of the business. Cash flow is important because companies with strong cash flow can usually sustain higher payout ratios.

If there’s one type of stock you want to be reliable, it’s dividend stocks and their stable income-generating ability. The reality is that it is too early to consider Australian Finance Group as a dividend investment. It has only been consistently paying dividends for 4 years, however, standard practice for reliable payers is to look for a 10-year minimum track record.

Compared to its peers, Australian Finance Group generates a yield of 8.0%, which is high for Mortgage stocks.

Next Steps:

With these dividend metrics in mind, I definitely rank Australian Finance Group as a strong income stock, and is worth further research for anyone who considers dividends an important part of their portfolio strategy. Given that this is purely a dividend analysis, you should always research extensively before deciding whether or not a stock is an appropriate investment for you. I always recommend analysing the company’s fundamentals and underlying business before making an investment decision. Below, I’ve compiled three fundamental factors you should further examine:

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for AFG’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for AFG’s outlook.
  2. Valuation: What is AFG worth today? Even if the stock is a cash cow, it’s not worth an infinite price. The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether AFG is currently mispriced by the market.
  3. Other Dividend Rockstars: Are there better dividend payers with stronger fundamentals out there? Check out our free list of these great stocks here.

To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.

The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com.