Does The North West Company Inc (TSE:NWC) Have A Place In Your Portfolio?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
October 17, 2018
TSX:NWC
Source: Shutterstock

Dividends play a key role in compounding returns over time and can form a large part of our portfolio return. Recently, The North West Company Inc (TSE:NWC) has started paying dividends to shareholders. Today it yields 4.6%. Does North West tick all the boxes of a great dividend stock? Below, I'll take you through my analysis.

Check out our latest analysis for North West

5 checks you should do on a dividend stock

When assessing a stock as a potential addition to my dividend Portfolio, I look at these five areas:

  • Is it the top 25% annual dividend yield payer?
  • Has it consistently paid a stable dividend without missing a payment or drastically cutting payout?
  • Has dividend per share risen in the past couple of years?
  • Is its earnings sufficient to payout dividend at the current rate?
  • Will it have the ability to keep paying its dividends going forward?
TSX:NWC Historical Dividend Yield October 17th 18
TSX:NWC Historical Dividend Yield October 17th 18

Does North West pass our checks?

The current trailing twelve-month payout ratio for the stock is 65%, meaning the dividend is sufficiently covered by earnings. Going forward, analysts expect NWC's payout to remain around the same level at 64% of its earnings, which leads to a dividend yield of around 4.7%. Furthermore, EPS should increase to CA$1.92.

When assessing the forecast sustainability of a dividend it is also worth considering the cash flow of the business. A business with strong cash flow can sustain a higher divided payout ratio than a company with weak cash flow.

If dividend is a key criteria in your investment consideration, then you need to make sure the dividend stock you're eyeing out is reliable in its payments. Unfortunately, it is really too early to view North West as a dividend investment. It has only been paying out dividend for the past one year. Generally, the rule of thumb for determining whether a stock is a reliable dividend payer is that it should be consistently paying dividends for the past 10 years or more. Clearly there's a long road ahead before we can ascertain whether NWC one as a stable dividend player.

In terms of its peers, North West produces a yield of 4.6%, which is high for Consumer Retailing stocks but still below the market's top dividend payers.

Next Steps:

If you are building an income portfolio, then North West is a complicated choice since it has some positive aspects as well as negative ones. However, if you are not strictly just a dividend investor, the stock could still offer some interesting investment opportunities. Given that this is purely a dividend analysis, you should always research extensively before deciding whether or not a stock is an appropriate investment for you. I always recommend analysing the company's fundamentals and underlying business before making an investment decision. There are three essential aspects you should look at:

  1. Valuation: What is NWC worth today? Even if the stock is a cash cow, it's not worth an infinite price. The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether NWC is currently mispriced by the market.
  2. Management Team: An experienced management team on the helm increases our confidence in the business – take a look at who sits on North West’s board and the CEO’s back ground.
  3. Dividend Rockstars: Are there better dividend payers with stronger fundamentals out there? Check out our free list of these great stocks here.

To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.

The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com.

Simply Wall St analyst Simply Wall St and Simply Wall St have no position in any of the companies mentioned. This article is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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.

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