Is Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited (ASX:BEN) An Attractive Dividend Stock?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
July 16, 2020
ASX:BEN

Could Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited (ASX:BEN) 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. If you are hoping to live on the income from dividends, it's important to be a lot more stringent with your investments than the average punter.

In this case, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank likely looks attractive to investors, given its 8.7% dividend yield and a payment history of over ten years. We'd guess that plenty of investors have purchased it for the income. Some simple analysis can offer a lot of insights when buying a company for its dividend, and we'll go through this below.

Explore this interactive chart for our latest analysis on Bendigo and Adelaide Bank!

historic-dividend
ASX:BEN Historic Dividend July 16th 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. Bendigo and Adelaide Bank paid out 102% of its profit as dividends, over the trailing twelve month period. A payout ratio above 100% is definitely an item of concern, unless there are some other circumstances that would justify it.

Remember, you can always get a snapshot of Bendigo and Adelaide Bank's latest financial position, by checking our visualisation of its financial health.

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. Bendigo and Adelaide Bank has been paying dividends for a long time, but for the purpose of this analysis, we only examine the past 10 years of payments. This dividend has been unstable, which we define as having been cut one or more times over this time. During the past ten-year period, the first annual payment was AU$0.4 in 2010, compared to AU$0.6 last year. Dividends per share have grown at approximately 3.7% per year over this time. The dividends haven't grown at precisely 3.7% every year, but this is a useful way to average out the historical rate of growth.

It's good to see some dividend growth, but the dividend has been cut at least once, and the size of the cut would eliminate most of the growth, anyway. We're not that enthused by this.

Dividend Growth Potential

Given that the dividend has been cut in the past, we need to check if earnings are growing and if that might lead to stronger dividends in the future. It's not great to see that Bendigo and Adelaide Bank's have fallen at approximately 5.8% over the past five years. Declining earnings per share over a number of years is not a great sign for the dividend investor. Without some improvement, this does not bode well for the long term value of a company's dividend.

Conclusion

To summarise, shareholders should always check that Bendigo and Adelaide Bank's dividends are affordable, that its dividend payments are relatively stable, and that it has decent prospects for growing its earnings and dividend. First, it's not great to see how much of its earnings are being paid as dividends. Second, earnings per share have been in decline, and its dividend has been cut at least once in the past. With any dividend stock, we look for a sustainable payout ratio, steady dividends, and growing earnings. Bendigo and Adelaide Bank has a few too many issues for us to get interested.

Market movements attest to how highly valued a consistent dividend policy is compared to one which is more unpredictable. However, there are other things to consider for investors when analysing stock performance. Case in point: We've spotted 3 warning signs for Bendigo and Adelaide Bank (of which 1 is potentially serious!) you should know about.

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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