Don’t Buy Bird Construction Inc. (TSE:BDT) For Its Next Dividend Without Doing These Checks

Some investors rely on dividends for growing their wealth, and if you’re one of those dividend sleuths, you might be intrigued to know that Bird Construction Inc. (TSE:BDT) is about to go ex-dividend in just 4 days. Ex-dividend means that investors that purchase the stock on or after the 30th of July will not receive this dividend, which will be paid on the 20th of August.

Bird Construction’s next dividend payment will be CA$0.033 per share, and in the last 12 months, the company paid a total of CA$0.39 per share. Based on the last year’s worth of payments, Bird Construction has a trailing yield of 7.2% on the current stock price of CA$5.43. We love seeing companies pay a dividend, but it’s also important to be sure that laying the golden eggs isn’t going to kill our golden goose! So we need to check whether the dividend payments are covered, and if earnings are growing.

View our latest analysis for Bird Construction

If a company pays out more in dividends than it earned, then the dividend might become unsustainable – hardly an ideal situation. Bird Construction reported a loss after tax last year, which means it’s paying a dividend despite being unprofitable. While this might be a one-off event, this is unlikely to be sustainable in the long term. Given that the company reported a loss last year, we now need to see if it generated enough free cash flow to fund the dividend. If Bird Construction didn’t generate enough cash to pay the dividend, then it must have either paid from cash in the bank or by borrowing money, neither of which is sustainable in the long term. Luckily it paid out just 23% of its free cash flow last year.

Click here to see the company’s payout ratio, plus analyst estimates of its future dividends.

TSX:BDT Historical Dividend Yield, July 25th 2019
TSX:BDT Historical Dividend Yield, July 25th 2019

Have Earnings And Dividends Been Growing?

Companies with falling earnings are riskier for dividend shareholders. Investors love dividends, so if earnings fall and the dividend is reduced, expect a stock to be sold off heavily at the same time. Bird Construction reported a loss last year, and the general trend suggests its earnings have also been declining in recent years, making us wonder if the dividend is at risk.

Another key way to measure a company’s dividend prospects is by measuring its historical rate of dividend growth. Bird Construction’s dividend payments per share have declined at 2.1% per year on average over the past 10 years, which is uninspiring. It’s never nice to see earnings and dividends falling, but at least management has cut the dividend rather than potentially risk the company’s health in an attempt to maintain it.

Remember, you can always get a snapshot of Bird Construction’s financial health, by checking our visualisation of its financial health, here.

To Sum It Up

From a dividend perspective, should investors buy or avoid Bird Construction? First, it’s not great to see the company paying a dividend despite being loss-making over the last year. On the plus side, the dividend was covered by free cash flow. It’s not that we think Bird Construction is a bad company, but these characteristics don’t generally lead to outstanding dividend performance.

Curious what other investors think of Bird Construction? See what analysts are forecasting, with this visualisation of its historical and future estimated earnings and cash flow .

A common investment mistake is buying the first interesting stock you see. Here you can find a list of promising dividend stocks with a greater than 2% yield and an upcoming dividend.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. 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. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.