What To Know Before Buying Econocom Group SE (EBR:ECONB) For Its Dividend

By
Simply Wall St
Published
April 19, 2021
ENXTBR:ECONB
Source: Shutterstock

Could Econocom Group SE (EBR:ECONB) 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 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.

In this case, Econocom Group likely looks attractive to investors, given its 3.4% dividend yield and a payment history of over ten years. It would not be a surprise to discover that many investors buy it for the dividends. The company also bought back stock during the year, equivalent to approximately 3.6% of the company's market capitalisation at the time. Some simple analysis can reduce the risk of holding Econocom Group for its dividend, and we'll focus on the most important aspects below.

Explore this interactive chart for our latest analysis on Econocom Group!

historic-dividend
ENXTBR:ECONB Historic Dividend April 20th 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. Comparing dividend payments to a company's net profit after tax is a simple way of reality-checking whether a dividend is sustainable. Econocom Group paid out 56% of its profit as dividends, over the trailing twelve month period. This is a fairly normal payout ratio among most businesses. It allows a higher dividend to be paid to shareholders, but does limit the capital retained in the business - which could be good or bad.

While the above analysis focuses on dividends relative to a company's earnings, we do note Econocom Group's strong net cash position, which will let it pay larger dividends for a time, should it choose.

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

Dividend Volatility

One of the major risks of relying on dividend income, is the potential for a company to struggle financially and cut its dividend. Not only is your income cut, but the value of your investment declines as well - nasty. Econocom Group 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 €0.04 in 2011, compared to €0.1 last year. Dividends per share have grown at approximately 11% per year over this time.

It's rare to find a company that has grown its dividends rapidly over 10 years and not had any notable cuts, but Econocom Group has done it, which we really like.

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. Over the past five years, it looks as though Econocom Group's EPS have declined at around 4.4% a year. A modest decline in earnings per share is not great to see, but it doesn't automatically make a dividend unsustainable. Still, we'd vastly prefer to see EPS growth when researching dividend stocks.

Conclusion

Dividend investors should always want to know if a) a company's dividends are affordable, b) if there is a track record of consistent payments, and c) if the dividend is capable of growing. First, we think Econocom Group has an acceptable payout ratio. Second, earnings per share have actually shrunk, but at least the dividends have been relatively stable. Econocom Group might not be a bad business, but it doesn't show all of the characteristics we look for in a dividend stock.

Market movements attest to how highly valued a consistent dividend policy is compared to one which is more unpredictable. Meanwhile, despite the importance of dividend payments, they are not the only factors our readers should know when assessing a company. For instance, we've picked out 3 warning signs for Econocom Group that investors should take into consideration.

If you are a dividend investor, you might also want to look at our curated list of dividend stocks yielding above 3%.

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