Is Waterco Limited (ASX:WAT) A Smart Pick For Income Investors?

Dividends can be underrated but they form a large part of investment returns, playing an important role in compounding returns in the long run. Historically, Waterco Limited (ASX:WAT) has been paying a dividend to shareholders. Today it yields 2.3%. Let’s dig deeper into whether Waterco should have a place in your portfolio.

See our latest analysis for Waterco

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5 checks you should do on a dividend stock

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

  • Is its annual yield among the top 25% of dividend-paying companies?
  • Has it consistently paid a stable dividend without missing a payment or drastically cutting payout?
  • Has dividend per share risen in the past couple of years?
  • Can it afford to pay the current rate of dividends from its earnings?
  • Will the company be able to keep paying dividend based on the future earnings growth?
ASX:WAT Historical Dividend Yield January 29th 19
ASX:WAT Historical Dividend Yield January 29th 19

How well does Waterco fit our criteria?

The company currently pays out 48% of its earnings as a dividend, according to its trailing twelve-month data, which means that the dividend is covered by earnings. Furthermore, analysts have not forecasted a dividends per share for the future, which makes it hard to determine the yield shareholders should expect, and whether the current payout is sustainable, moving forward.

When considering the sustainability of dividends, it is also worth checking the cash flow of a company. Companies with strong cash flow can sustain a higher payout ratio, while companies with weaker cash flow generally cannot.

If dividend is a key criteria in your investment consideration, then you need to make sure the dividend stock you’re eyeing out is reliable in its payments. Although WAT’s per share payments have increased in the past 10 years, it has not been a completely smooth ride. Investors have seen reductions in the dividend per share in the past, although, it has picked up again.

Compared to its peers, Waterco produces a yield of 2.3%, which is on the low-side for Leisure stocks.

Next Steps:

After digging a little deeper into Waterco’s yield, it’s easy to see why you should be cautious investing in the company just for the dividend. On the other hand, if you are not strictly just a dividend investor, the stock could still be offering some interesting investment opportunities. 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. There are three relevant aspects you should further examine:

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for WAT’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for WAT’s outlook.
  2. Historical Performance: What has WAT’s returns been like over the past? Go into more detail in the past track record analysis and take a look at the free visual representations of our analysis for more clarity.
  3. 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.