Stock Analysis

Atrium Mortgage Investment (TSE:AI) Is Paying Out A Dividend Of CA$0.075

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TSX:AI
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The board of Atrium Mortgage Investment Corporation (TSE:AI) has announced that it will pay a dividend of CA$0.075 per share on the 10th of November. This makes the dividend yield 9.3%, which will augment investor returns quite nicely.

Our analysis indicates that AI is potentially undervalued!

Atrium Mortgage Investment Not Expected To Earn Enough To Cover Its Payments

While it is great to have a strong dividend yield, we should also consider whether the payment is sustainable.

Atrium Mortgage Investment has a long history of paying out dividends, with its current track record at a minimum of 10 years. Taking data from its last earnings report, calculating for the company's payout ratio shows 91%, which means that Atrium Mortgage Investment would be able to pay its last dividend without pressure on the balance sheet.

Earnings per share is forecast to rise by 2.4% over the next year. However, if the dividend continues along recent trends, it could start putting pressure on the balance sheet with the future payout ratio reaching 97% over the next year.

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TSX:AI Historic Dividend October 11th 2022

Dividend Volatility

Although the company has a long dividend history, it has been cut at least once in the last 10 years. The dividend has gone from an annual total of CA$0.83 in 2012 to the most recent total annual payment of CA$0.97. This means that it has been growing its distributions at 1.6% per annum over that time. Modest growth in the dividend is good to see, but we think this is offset by historical cuts to the payments. It is hard to live on a dividend income if the company's earnings are not consistent.

Atrium Mortgage Investment May Find It Hard To Grow The Dividend

With a relatively unstable dividend, it's even more important to see if earnings per share is growing. Although it's important to note that Atrium Mortgage Investment's earnings per share has basically not grown from where it was five years ago, which could erode the purchasing power of the dividend over time. Slow growth and a high payout ratio could mean that Atrium Mortgage Investment has maxed out the amount that it has been able to pay to shareholders. When a company prefers to pay out cash to its shareholders instead of reinvesting it, this can often say a lot about that company's dividend prospects.

The Dividend Could Prove To Be Unreliable

Overall, we don't think this company makes a great dividend stock, even though the dividend wasn't cut this year. The payments are bit high to be considered sustainable, and the track record isn't the best. We would probably look elsewhere for an income investment.

It's important to note that companies having a consistent dividend policy will generate greater investor confidence than those having an erratic one. However, there are other things to consider for investors when analysing stock performance. For example, we've picked out 2 warning signs for Atrium Mortgage Investment that investors should know about before committing capital to this stock. Looking for more high-yielding dividend ideas? Try our collection of strong dividend payers.

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