Transcontinental Inc. (TSE:TCL.A) has announced that it will pay a dividend of CA$0.23 per share on the 19th of October. This makes the dividend yield 4.4%, which will augment investor returns quite nicely.
Transcontinental's Payment Has Solid Earnings Coverage
While it is great to have a strong dividend yield, we should also consider whether the payment is sustainable. Prior to this announcement, Transcontinental's dividend was comfortably covered by both cash flow and earnings. This indicates that a lot of the earnings are being reinvested into the business, with the aim of fueling growth.
Over the next year, EPS is forecast to expand by 8.3%. If the dividend continues along recent trends, we estimate the payout ratio will be 54%, which is in the range that makes us comfortable with the sustainability of the dividend.
Transcontinental Has A Solid Track Record
The company has been paying a dividend for a long time, and it has been quite stable which gives us confidence in the future dividend potential. The dividend has gone from CA$0.44 in 2011 to the most recent annual payment of CA$0.90. This implies that the company grew its distributions at a yearly rate of about 7.4% over that duration. The dividend has been growing very nicely for a number of years, and has given its shareholders some nice income in their portfolios.
Dividend Growth Is Doubtful
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. In the last five years, Transcontinental's earnings per share has shrunk at approximately 7.9% per annum. If earnings continue declining, the company may have to make the difficult choice of reducing the dividend or even stopping it completely - the opposite of dividend growth. It's not all bad news though, as the earnings are predicted to rise over the next 12 months - we would just be a bit cautious until this can turn into a longer term trend.
Overall, we think Transcontinental is a solid choice as a dividend stock, even though the dividend wasn't raised this year. While the payments look sustainable for now, earnings have been shrinking so the dividend could come under pressure in the future. Taking all of this into consideration, the dividend looks viable moving forward, but investors should be mindful that the company has pushed the boundaries of sustainability in the past and may do so again.
Investors generally tend to favour companies with a consistent, stable dividend policy as opposed to those operating an irregular one. At the same time, there are other factors our readers should be conscious of before pouring capital into a stock. Taking the debate a bit further, we've identified 2 warning signs for Transcontinental that investors need to be conscious of moving forward. If you are a dividend investor, you might also want to look at our curated list of high performing dividend stock.
This article by Simply Wall St 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. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.
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