The board of Sienna Senior Living Inc. (TSE:SIA) has announced that it will pay a dividend of CA$0.078 per share on the 15th of September. This makes the dividend yield 6.0%, which will augment investor returns quite nicely.
Sienna Senior Living's Distributions May Be Difficult To Sustain
If the payments aren't sustainable, a high yield for a few years won't matter that much. Sienna Senior Living isn't generating any profits, and it is paying out a very high proportion of the cash it is earning. This is quite a strong warning sign that the dividend may not be sustainable.
Recent, EPS has fallen by 44.4%, so this could continue over the next year. This means the company won't be turning a profit, which could place managers in the tough spot of having to choose between suspending the dividend or putting more pressure on the balance sheet.
Sienna Senior Living Has A Solid Track Record
The company has a sustained record of paying dividends with very little fluctuation. The first annual payment during the last 10 years was CA$0.85 in 2011, and the most recent fiscal year payment was CA$0.94. Dividend payments have been growing, but very slowly over the period. Although we can't deny that the dividend has been remarkably stable in the past, the growth has been pretty muted.
Dividend Growth Potential Is Shaky
The company's investors will be pleased to have been receiving dividend income for some time. Unfortunately things aren't as good as they seem. Sienna Senior Living's EPS has fallen by approximately 44% per year during the past five years. Such rapid declines definitely have the potential to constrain dividend payments if the trend continues into the future.
The Dividend Could Prove To Be Unreliable
In summary, while it's good to see that the dividend hasn't been cut, we are a bit cautious about Sienna Senior Living's payments, as there could be some issues with sustaining them into the future. 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.
It's important to note that companies having a consistent dividend policy will generate greater investor confidence than those having an erratic one. Meanwhile, despite the importance of dividend payments, they are not the only factors our readers should know when assessing a company. Just as an example, we've come across 4 warning signs for Sienna Senior Living you should be aware of, and 2 of them are a bit concerning. Looking for more high-yielding dividend ideas? Try our curated list of strong dividend payers.
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