Is Liechtensteinische Landesbank Aktiengesellschaft (VTX:LLBN) A Great Dividend Stock?

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Could Liechtensteinische Landesbank Aktiengesellschaft (VTX:LLBN) be an attractive dividend share to own for the long haul? Investors are often drawn to strong companies with the idea of reinvesting the dividends. 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.

Liechtensteinische Landesbank yields a solid 3.4%, although it has only been paying for two years. A 3.4% yield does look good. Could the short payment history hint at future dividend growth? When buying stocks for their dividends, you should always run through the checks below, to see if the dividend looks sustainable.

Explore this interactive chart for our latest analysis on Liechtensteinische Landesbank!

SWX:LLBN Historical Dividend Yield, July 8th 2019
SWX:LLBN Historical Dividend Yield, July 8th 2019

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. Comparing dividend payments to a company’s net profit after tax is a simple way of reality-checking whether a dividend is sustainable. Looking at the data, we can see that 80% of Liechtensteinische Landesbank’s profits were paid out as dividends in the last 12 months. It’s paying out most of its earnings, which limits the amount that can be reinvested in the business. This may indicate limited need for further capital within the business, or highlight a commitment to paying a dividend.

Dividend Volatility

One of the major risks of relying on dividend income, is the potential for a company to struggle financially and cut its dividend. Not only is your income cut, but the value of your investment declines as well – nasty. During the past two-year period, the first annual payment was CHF1.70 in 2017, compared to CHF2.10 last year. This works out to be a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 11% a year over that time.

So, its dividends have grown at a rapid rate over this time, but payments have been cut in the past. The stock may still be worth considering as part of a diversified dividend portfolio.

Dividend Growth Potential

The other half of the dividend investing equation is evaluating whether earnings per share (EPS) are growing. Over the long term, dividends need to grow at or above the rate of inflation, in order to maintain the recipient’s purchasing power. Earnings have grown at around 8.5% a year for the past five years, which is better than seeing them shrink! Past earnings growth has been decent, but unless this is one of those rare businesses that can grow without additional capital investment or marketing spend, we’d generally expect the higher payout ratio to limit its future growth prospects.

We’d also point out that Liechtensteinische Landesbank issued a meaningful number of new shares in the past year. Trying to grow the dividend when issuing new shares reminds us of the ancient Greek tale of Sisyphus – perpetually pushing a boulder uphill. Companies that consistently issue new shares are often suboptimal from a dividend perspective.

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. Liechtensteinische Landesbank’s payout ratio is within an average range for most market participants. Next, earnings growth has been good, but unfortunately the dividend has been cut at least once in the past. While we’re not hugely bearish on it, overall we think there are potentially better dividend stocks than Liechtensteinische Landesbank out there.

See if management have their own wealth at stake, by checking insider shareholdings in Liechtensteinische Landesbank stock.

Looking for more high-yielding dividend ideas? Try our curated list of dividend stocks with a yield 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.