How Does BMTC Group Inc. (TSE:GBT) Fare As A Dividend Stock?

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Could BMTC Group Inc. (TSE:GBT) be an attractive dividend share to own for the long haul? Investors are often drawn to a company for its dividend. Yet sometimes, investors buy a stock for its dividend and lose money because the share price falls by more than they earned in dividend payments.

A slim 2.0% yield is hard to get excited about, but the long payment history is respectable. At the right price, or with strong growth opportunities, BMTC Group could have potential. The company also bought back stock equivalent to around 1.9% of market capitalisation this year. When buying stocks for their dividends, you should always run through the checks below, to see if the dividend looks sustainable.

Click the interactive chart for our full dividend analysis
TSX:GBT Historical Dividend Yield, May 8th 2019
TSX:GBT Historical Dividend Yield, May 8th 2019

Payout ratios

Dividends are typically paid from company earnings. If a company pays more in dividends than it earned, then the dividend might become unsustainable – hardly an ideal situation. As a result, we should always investigate whether a company can afford its dividend, measured as a percentage of a company’s net income after tax. Looking at the data, we can see that 22% of BMTC Group’s profits were paid out as dividends in the last 12 months. Given the low payout ratio, it is hard to envision the dividend coming under threat, barring a catastrophe.

In addition to comparing dividends against profits, we should inspect whether the company generated enough cash to pay its dividend. BMTC Group paid out a conservative 41% of its free cash flow as dividends last year.

We update our data on BMTC Group every 24 hours, so you can always get our latest analysis of its financial health, here.

Dividend Volatility

Before buying a stock for its income, we want to see if the dividends have been stable in the past, and if the company has a track record of maintaining its dividend. BMTC Group has been paying dividends for a long time, but for the purpose of this analysis, we only examine the past 10 years of payments. This dividend has been unstable, which we define as having fallen by at least 20% one or more times over this time. During the past ten-year period, the first annual payment was CA$0.36 in 2009, compared to CA$0.28 last year. This works out to be a decline of approximately -2.5% per year over that time. BMTC Group’s dividend hasn’t shrunk linearly at -2.5% per annum, but the CAGR is a useful estimate of the historical rate of change.

Dividend Growth Potential

With a relatively unstable dividend, it’s even more important to evaluate if earnings per share (EPS) are growing – it’s not worth taking the risk on a dividend getting cut, unless you might be rewarded with larger dividends in future. BMTC Group has grown its earnings per share at 0.8% per annum over the past five years. As we saw above, earnings per share growth has not been strong. However, at least the payout ratio is conservative, and there is plenty of potential to increase this over time.

Conclusion

When we look at a dividend stock, we need to form a judgement on whether the dividend will grow, if the company is able to maintain it in a wide range of economic circumstances, and if the dividend payout is sustainable. Firstly, we like that BMTC Group has low and conservative payout ratios. Second, earnings growth has been ordinary, and its history of dividend payments is chequered – having cut its dividend at least once in the past. BMTC Group has a number of positive attributes, but it falls slightly short of our (admittedly high) standards. Were there evidence of a strong moat or an attractive valuation, it could still be well worth a look.

Are management backing themselves to deliver performance? Check their shareholdings in BMTC Group in our latest insider ownership analysis.

If you are a dividend investor, you might also want to look at our curated list of dividend stocks yielding above 3%.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.