Olympia Financial Group Inc.'s (TSE:OLY) dividend will be increasing to CA$0.27 on 31st of May. This makes the dividend yield 5.2%, which is above the industry average.
Olympia Financial Group Doesn't 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. Prior to this announcement, the company was paying out 102% of what it was earning, however the dividend was quite comfortably covered by free cash flows at a cash payout ratio of only 58%. Given that the dividend is a cash outflow, we think that cash is more important than accounting measures of profit when assessing the dividend, so this is a mitigating factor.
Over the next year, EPS could expand by 3.1% if the company continues along the path it has been on recently. If the dividend continues on its recent course, the payout ratio in 12 months could be 104%, which is a bit high and could start applying pressure to the balance sheet.
The company's dividend history has been marked by instability, with at least 1 cut in the last 10 years. The dividend has gone from CA$2.60 in 2012 to the most recent annual payment of CA$2.76. Dividend payments have grown at less than 1% a year over this period. It's encouraging to see some dividend growth, but the dividend has been cut at least once, and the size of the cut would eliminate most of the growth anyway, which makes this less attractive as an income investment.
The Dividend's Growth Prospects Are Limited
With a relatively unstable dividend, it's even more important to see if earnings per share is growing. Earnings per share has been crawling upwards at 3.1% per year. So the company has struggled to grow its EPS yet it's still paying out 102% of its earnings. As they say in finance, 'past performance is not indicative of future performance', but we are not confident a company with limited earnings growth and a high payout ratio will be a star dividend-payer over the next decade.
Overall, this is probably not a great income stock, even though the dividend is being raised at the moment. In the past, the payments have been unstable, but over the short term the dividend could be reliable, with the company generating enough cash to cover it. Overall, we don't think this company has the makings of a good income stock.
Investors generally tend to favour companies with a consistent, stable dividend policy as opposed to those operating an irregular one. Meanwhile, despite the importance of dividend payments, they are not the only factors our readers should know when assessing a company. Taking the debate a bit further, we've identified 1 warning sign for Olympia Financial Group that investors need to be conscious of moving forward. Is Olympia Financial Group not quite the opportunity you were looking for? Why not check out our selection of top dividend stocks.
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