Stock Analysis

Zooming in on ASX:AUI's 3.9% Dividend Yield

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ASX:AUI
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Is Australian United Investment Company Limited (ASX:AUI) a good dividend stock? How can we tell? Dividend paying companies with growing earnings can be highly rewarding in the long term. If you are hoping to live on your dividends, it's important to be more stringent with your investments than the average punter. Regular readers know we like to apply the same approach to each dividend stock, and we hope you'll find our analysis useful.

With Australian United Investment yielding 3.9% 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. When buying stocks for their dividends, you should always run through the checks below, to see if the dividend looks sustainable.

Click the interactive chart for our full dividend analysis

historic-dividend
ASX:AUI Historic Dividend February 1st 2021

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. So we need to form a view on if a company's dividend is sustainable, relative to its net profit after tax. Looking at the data, we can see that 109% of Australian United Investment's profits were paid out as dividends in the last 12 months. Unless there are extenuating circumstances, from the perspective of an investor who hopes to own the company for many years, a payout ratio of above 100% is definitely a concern.

Remember, you can always get a snapshot of Australian United Investment'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. Australian United Investment has been paying dividends for a long time, but for the purpose of this analysis, we only examine the past 10 years of payments. During this period the dividend has been stable, which could imply the business could have relatively consistent earnings power. During the past 10-year period, the first annual payment was AU$0.3 in 2011, compared to AU$0.4 last year. This works out to be a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 3.7% a year over that time.

Dividends have grown relatively slowly, which is not great, but some investors may value the relative consistency of the dividend.

Dividend Growth Potential

While dividend payments have been relatively reliable, it would also be nice if earnings per share (EPS) were growing, as this is essential to maintaining the dividend's purchasing power over the long term. In the last five years, Australian United Investment's earnings per share have shrunk at approximately 5.1% per annum. 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 Australian United Investment'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 actually shrunk, but at least the dividends have been relatively stable. With this information in mind, we think Australian United Investment may not be an ideal dividend stock.

Companies possessing a stable dividend policy will likely enjoy greater investor interest than those suffering from a more inconsistent approach. However, there are other things to consider for investors when analysing stock performance. For example, we've picked out 1 warning sign for Australian United Investment that investors should know about before committing capital to this stock.

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

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