Don't Race Out To Buy Vecima Networks Inc. (TSE:VCM) Just Because It's Going Ex-Dividend

By
Simply Wall St
Published
November 19, 2021
TSX:VCM
Source: Shutterstock

Some investors rely on dividends for growing their wealth, and if you're one of those dividend sleuths, you might be intrigued to know that Vecima Networks Inc. (TSE:VCM) is about to go ex-dividend in just 4 days. The ex-dividend date is one business day before a company's record date, which is the date on which the company determines which shareholders are entitled to receive a dividend. The ex-dividend date is important because any transaction on a stock needs to have been settled before the record date in order to be eligible for a dividend. In other words, investors can purchase Vecima Networks' shares before the 25th of November in order to be eligible for the dividend, which will be paid on the 20th of December.

The company's next dividend payment will be CA$0.055 per share, on the back of last year when the company paid a total of CA$0.22 to shareholders. Calculating the last year's worth of payments shows that Vecima Networks has a trailing yield of 1.4% on the current share price of CA$15.25. Dividends are an important source of income to many shareholders, but the health of the business is crucial to maintaining those dividends. So we need to investigate whether Vecima Networks can afford its dividend, and if the dividend could grow.

View our latest analysis for Vecima Networks

If a company pays out more in dividends than it earned, then the dividend might become unsustainable - hardly an ideal situation. Vecima Networks reported a loss after tax last year, which means it's paying a dividend despite being unprofitable. While this might be a one-off event, this is unlikely to be sustainable in the long term. Considering the lack of profitability, we also need to check if the company generated enough cash flow to cover the dividend payment. If Vecima Networks didn't generate enough cash to pay the dividend, then it must have either paid from cash in the bank or by borrowing money, neither of which is sustainable in the long term. Over the last year it paid out 57% of its free cash flow as dividends, within the usual range for most companies.

Click here to see how much of its profit Vecima Networks paid out over the last 12 months.

historic-dividend
TSX:VCM Historic Dividend November 20th 2021

Have Earnings And Dividends Been Growing?

When earnings decline, dividend companies become much harder to analyse and own safely. If earnings decline and the company is forced to cut its dividend, investors could watch the value of their investment go up in smoke. Vecima Networks reported a loss last year, and the general trend suggests its earnings have also been declining in recent years, making us wonder if the dividend is at risk.

Another key way to measure a company's dividend prospects is by measuring its historical rate of dividend growth. Vecima Networks has delivered 2.9% dividend growth per year on average over the past seven years.

We update our analysis on Vecima Networks every 24 hours, so you can always get the latest insights on its financial health, here.

To Sum It Up

From a dividend perspective, should investors buy or avoid Vecima Networks? First, it's not great to see the company paying a dividend despite being loss-making over the last year. On the plus side, the dividend was covered by free cash flow." It's not an attractive combination from a dividend perspective, and we're inclined to pass on this one for the time being.

So if you're still interested in Vecima Networks despite it's poor dividend qualities, you should be well informed on some of the risks facing this stock. To help with this, we've discovered 2 warning signs for Vecima Networks (1 can't be ignored!) that you ought to be aware of before buying the shares.

We wouldn't recommend just buying the first dividend stock you see, though. Here's a list of interesting dividend stocks with a greater than 2% yield and an upcoming dividend.

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