Stock Analysis

Would ALBA SE (FRA:ABA) Be Valuable To Income Investors?

DB:ABA
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Dividend paying stocks like ALBA SE (FRA:ABA) tend to be popular with investors, and for good reason - some research suggests a significant amount of all stock market returns come from reinvested dividends. On the other hand, investors have been known to buy a stock because of its yield, and then lose money if the company's dividend doesn't live up to expectations.

With ALBA yielding 4.7% and having paid a dividend for over 10 years, many investors likely find the company quite interesting. It would not be a surprise to discover that many investors buy it for the dividends. Some simple research can reduce the risk of buying ALBA for its dividend - read on to learn more.

Explore this interactive chart for our latest analysis on ALBA!

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DB:ABA Historic Dividend March 31st 2021

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. So we need to form a view on if a company's dividend is sustainable, relative to its net profit after tax. Although it reported a loss over the past 12 months, ALBA currently pays a dividend. When a company is loss-making, we next need to check to see if its cash flows can support the dividend.

With a strong net cash balance, ALBA investors may not have much to worry about in the near term from a dividend perspective.

Consider getting our latest analysis on ALBA's financial position here.

Dividend Volatility

From the perspective of an income investor who wants to earn dividends for many years, there is not much point buying a stock if its dividend is regularly cut or is not reliable. ALBA has been paying dividends for a long time, but for the purpose of this analysis, we only examine the past 10 years of payments. The dividend has been stable over the past 10 years, which is great. We think this could suggest some resilience to the business and its dividends. During the past 10-year period, the first annual payment was €0.3 in 2011, compared to €3.3 last year. Dividends per share have grown at approximately 29% per year over this time.

Dividends have been growing pretty quickly, and even more impressively, they haven't experienced any notable falls during this period.

Dividend Growth Potential

While dividend payments have been relatively reliable, it would also be nice if earnings per share (EPS) were growing, as this is essential to maintaining the dividend's purchasing power over the long term. Strong earnings per share (EPS) growth might encourage our interest in the company despite fluctuating dividends, which is why it's great to see ALBA has grown its earnings per share at 31% per annum over the past five years.

Conclusion

To summarise, shareholders should always check that ALBA's dividends are affordable, that its dividend payments are relatively stable, and that it has decent prospects for growing its earnings and dividend. First, it's not great to see a dividend being paid despite the company being unprofitable over the last year. Next, growing earnings per share and steady dividend payments is a great combination. ALBA has a number of positive attributes, but falls short of our ideal dividend company. It may be worth a look at the right price, though.

Market movements attest to how highly valued a consistent dividend policy is compared to one which is more unpredictable. At the same time, there are other factors our readers should be conscious of before pouring capital into a stock. Taking the debate a bit further, we've identified 2 warning signs for ALBA that investors need to be conscious of moving forward.

Looking for more high-yielding dividend ideas? Try our curated list of dividend stocks with a yield above 3%.

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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. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.
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