Stock Analysis

Could Advanced Share Registry Limited (ASX:ASW) Have The Makings Of Another Dividend Aristocrat?

ASX:ASW
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Could Advanced Share Registry Limited (ASX:ASW) 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. Yet sometimes, investors buy a popular dividend stock because of its yield, and then lose money if the company's dividend doesn't live up to expectations.

With Advanced Share Registry yielding 5.2% and having paid a dividend for over 10 years, many investors likely find the company quite interesting. We'd guess that plenty of investors have purchased it for the income. Some simple analysis can reduce the risk of holding Advanced Share Registry for its dividend, and we'll focus on the most important aspects below.

Click the interactive chart for our full dividend analysis

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ASX:ASW Historic Dividend December 29th 2020

Payout ratios

Dividends are usually paid out of company earnings. If a company is paying more than it earns, 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, Advanced Share Registry paid out 116% of its profit as dividends. A payout ratio above 100% is definitely an item of concern, unless there are some other circumstances that would justify it.

We update our data on Advanced Share Registry every 24 hours, so you can always get our latest analysis of its financial health, here.

Dividend Volatility

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. Advanced Share Registry has been paying dividends for a long time, but for the purpose of this analysis, we only examine the past 10 years of payments. The dividend has been stable over the past 10 years, which is great. We think this could suggest some resilience to the business and its dividends. During the past 10-year period, the first annual payment was AU$0.04 in 2010, compared to AU$0.04 last year. This works out to be a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 1.6% a year over that time.

While the consistency in the dividend payments is impressive, we think the relatively slow rate of growth is unappealing.

Dividend Growth Potential

Dividend payments have been consistent over the past few years, but we should always check if earnings per share (EPS) are growing, as this will help maintain the purchasing power of the dividend. Advanced Share Registry's earnings per share have been essentially flat over the past five years. Over the long term, steady earnings per share is a risk as the value of the dividends can be reduced by inflation. Still, the company has struggled to grow its EPS, and currently pays out 116% of its earnings. Limited recent earnings growth and a high payout ratio makes it hard for us to envision strong future dividend growth, unless the company should have substantial pricing power or some form of competitive advantage.

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, it's not great to see how much of its earnings are being paid as dividends. Earnings not been growing, but we like that the dividend payments have been fairly consistent. In summary, we're unenthused by Advanced Share Registry as a dividend stock. It's not that we think it is a bad company; it simply falls short of our criteria in some key areas.

Market movements attest to how highly valued a consistent dividend policy is compared to one which is more unpredictable. Still, investors need to consider a host of other factors, apart from dividend payments, when analysing a company. Case in point: We've spotted 4 warning signs for Advanced Share Registry (of which 1 makes us a bit uncomfortable!) you should know about.

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