TELUS (TSE:T) Is Paying Out A Larger Dividend Than Last Year

By
Simply Wall St
Published
May 10, 2022
TSX:T
Source: Shutterstock

TELUS Corporation's (TSE:T) dividend will be increasing to CA$0.34 on 4th of July. The announced payment will take the dividend yield to 4.1%, which is in line with the average for the industry.

View our latest analysis for TELUS

TELUS Doesn't Earn Enough To Cover Its Payments

We like a dividend to be consistent over the long term, so checking whether it is sustainable is important. Before this announcement, TELUS was paying out 103% of what it was earning, and not generating any free cash flows either. Paying out such a large dividend compared to earnings while also not generating free cash flows is a major warning sign for the sustainability of the dividend as these levels are certainly a bit high.

Over the next year, EPS is forecast to fall by 4.8%. If the dividend continues along the path it has been on recently, the payout ratio in 12 months could be 119%, which is definitely a bit high to be sustainable going forward.

historic-dividend
TSX:T Historic Dividend May 10th 2022

TELUS 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. Since 2012, the first annual payment was CA$0.55, compared to the most recent full-year payment of CA$1.35. This implies that the company grew its distributions at a yearly rate of about 9.4% 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.

The Dividend's Growth Prospects Are Limited

Some investors will be chomping at the bit to buy some of the company's stock based on its dividend history. Earnings has been rising at 3.1% per annum over the last five years, which admittedly is a bit slow. The earnings growth is anaemic, and the company is paying out 103% of its profit. As they say in finance, 'past performance is not indicative of future performance', but we are not confident a company with limited earnings growth and a high payout ratio will be a star dividend-payer over the next decade.

The Dividend Could Prove To Be Unreliable

Overall, this is probably not a great income stock, even though the dividend is being raised at the moment. We can't deny that the payments have been very stable, but we are a little bit worried about the very high payout ratio. We would be a touch cautious of relying on this stock primarily for the dividend income.

Investors generally tend to favour companies with a consistent, stable dividend policy as opposed to those operating an irregular one. However, there are other things to consider for investors when analysing stock performance. To that end, TELUS has 3 warning signs (and 1 which shouldn't be ignored) we think you should know about. If you are a dividend investor, you might also want to look at our curated list of high yield dividend stocks.

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