Extendicare (TSE:EXE) Has Re-Affirmed Its Dividend Of CA$0.04

Simply Wall St
November 10, 2021
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The board of Extendicare Inc. (TSE:EXE) has announced that it will pay a dividend of CA$0.04 per share on the 15th of December. This means the annual payment is 6.6% of the current stock price, which is above the average for the industry.

Check out our latest analysis for Extendicare

Extendicare Doesn't Earn Enough To Cover Its Payments

Impressive dividend yields are good, but this doesn't matter much if the payments can't be sustained. Before making this announcement, the company's dividend was much higher than its earnings. Without profits and cash flows increasing, it would be difficult for the company to continue paying the dividend at this level.

EPS is set to grow by 1.1% over the next year if recent trends continue. However, if the dividend continues growing along recent trends, it could start putting pressure on the balance sheet with the payout ratio reaching 156% over the next year.

TSX:EXE Historic Dividend November 11th 2021

Extendicare's Track Record Isn't Great

The company hasn't been particularly volatile, but it has been steadily decreasing which of course is not what investors like to see. Since 2011, the dividend has gone from CA$0.84 to CA$0.48. The dividend has shrunk at around 5.4% a year during that period. Generally, we don't like to see a dividend that has been declining over time as this can degrade shareholders' returns and indicate that the company may be running into problems.

Dividend Growth May Be Hard To Achieve

Given that the track record hasn't been stellar, we really want to see earnings per share growing over time. Extendicare hasn't seen much change in its earnings per share over the last five years. The earnings growth is anaemic, and the company is paying out 158% of its profit. Limited recent earnings growth and a high payout ratio makes it hard for us to envision strong future dividend growth, unless the company should have substantial pricing power or some form of competitive advantage.

The Dividend Could Prove To Be Unreliable

Overall, it's nice to see a consistent dividend payment, but we think that longer term, the current level of payment might be unsustainable. In the past the payments have been stable, but we think the company is paying out too much for this to continue for the long term. We would probably look elsewhere for an income investment.

Companies possessing a stable dividend policy will likely enjoy greater investor interest than those suffering from a more inconsistent approach. At the same time, there are other factors our readers should be conscious of before pouring capital into a stock. Case in point: We've spotted 3 warning signs for Extendicare (of which 2 are potentially serious!) you should know about. Looking for more high-yielding dividend ideas? Try our curated list of strong dividend payers.

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