Leon’s Furniture Limited’s (TSE:LNF) 3.6% Dividend Yield Looks Pretty Interesting

Is Leon’s Furniture Limited (TSE:LNF) a good dividend stock? How would you know? Dividend paying companies with growing earnings can be highly rewarding in the long term. Yet sometimes, investors buy a popular dividend stock because of its yield, and then lose money if the company’s dividend doesn’t live up to expectations.

In this case, Leon’s Furniture likely looks attractive to investors, given its 3.6% dividend yield and a payment history of over ten years. We’d guess that plenty of investors have purchased it for the income. Some simple research can reduce the risk of buying Leon’s Furniture for its dividend – read on to learn more.

Explore this interactive chart for our latest analysis on Leon’s Furniture!

TSX:LNF Historical Dividend Yield, May 25th 2019
TSX:LNF Historical Dividend Yield, May 25th 2019

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Payout ratios

Companies (usually) pay dividends out of their earnings. If a company is paying more than it earns, the dividend might have to be cut. 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 39% of Leon’s Furniture’s profits were paid out as dividends in the last 12 months. This is a middling range that strikes a nice balance between paying dividends to shareholders, and retaining enough earnings to invest in future growth. Besides, if reinvestment opportunities dry up, the company has room to increase the dividend.

Another important check we do is to see if the free cash flow generated is sufficient to pay the dividend. Leon’s Furniture paid out a conservative 35% of its free cash flow as dividends last year. It’s positive to see that Leon’s Furniture’s dividend is covered by both profits and cash flow, since this is generally a sign that the dividend is sustainable, and a lower payout ratio usually suggests a greater margin of safety before the dividend gets cut.

Is Leon’s Furniture’s Balance Sheet Risky?

As Leon’s Furniture has a meaningful amount of debt, we need to check its balance sheet to see if the company might have debt risks. A quick way to check a company’s financial situation uses these two ratios: net debt divided by EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation), and net interest cover. Net debt to EBITDA is a measure of a company’s total debt. Net interest cover measures the ability to meet interest payments on debt. Essentially we check that a) a company does not have too much debt, and b) that it can afford to pay the interest. With net debt of more than twice its EBITDA, Leon’s Furniture has a noticeable amount of debt, although if business stays steady, this may not be overly concerning.

We calculated its interest cover by measuring its earnings before interest and tax (EBIT), and dividing this by the company’s net interest expense. With EBIT of 13.46 times its interest expense, Leon’s Furniture’s interest cover is quite strong – more than enough to cover the interest expense.

We update our data on Leon’s Furniture 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. Leon’s Furniture has been paying dividends for a long time, but for the purpose of this analysis, we only examine the past 10 years of payments. During this period the dividend has been stable, which could imply the business could have relatively consistent earnings power. During the past ten-year period, the first annual payment was CA$0.28 in 2009, compared to CA$0.56 last year. Dividends per share have grown at approximately 7.2% per year over this time.

Dividend Growth Potential

Dividend payments have been consistent over the past few years, but we should always check if earnings per share (EPS) are growing, as this will help maintain the purchasing power of the dividend. Leon’s Furniture has grown its earnings per share at 7.3% per annum over the past five years. Earnings per share have been growing at a credible rate. What’s more, the payout ratio is reasonable and provides some protection to the dividend, or even the potential to increase it.

Conclusion

To summarise, shareholders should always check that Leon’s Furniture’s dividends are affordable, that its dividend payments are relatively stable, and that it has decent prospects for growing its earnings and dividend. It’s great to see that Leon’s Furniture is paying out a low percentage of its earnings and cash flow. Earnings growth has been limited, but we like that the dividend payments have been fairly consistent. Leon’s Furniture performs highly under this analysis, although it falls slightly short of our exacting standards. At the right valuation, it could be a solid dividend prospect.

Are management backing themselves to deliver performance? Check their shareholdings in Leon’s Furniture 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.