What To Know Before Buying Sydbank A/S (CPH:SYDB) For Its Dividend

Is Sydbank A/S (CPH:SYDB) a good dividend stock? How can we tell? Dividend paying companies with growing earnings can be highly rewarding in the long term. 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.

So you may wish to consider our analysis of Sydbank’s financial health, here.

With a nine-year payment history and a 7.6% yield, many investors probably find Sydbank intriguing. It sure looks interesting on these metrics – but there’s always more to the story . During the year, the company also conducted a buyback equivalent to around 7.3% of its market capitalisation. Remember though, due to the recent spike in its share price, Sydbank’s yield will look lower, even though the market may now be factoring in an improvement in its long-term prospects. Some simple analysis can reduce the risk of holding Sydbank for its dividend, and we’ll focus on the most important aspects below.

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CPSE:SYDB Historical Dividend Yield, December 4th 2019
CPSE:SYDB Historical Dividend Yield, December 4th 2019

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. 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 69% of Sydbank’s profits were paid out as dividends in the last 12 months. This is a fairly normal payout ratio among most businesses. It allows a higher dividend to be paid to shareholders, but does limit the capital retained in the business – which could be good or bad.

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. Looking at the last decade of data, we can see that Sydbank paid its first dividend at least nine years ago. It’s good to see that Sydbank has been paying a dividend for a number of years. However, the dividend has been cut at least once in the past, and we’re concerned that what has been cut once, could be cut again. During the past nine-year period, the first annual payment was ø1.00 in 2010, compared to ø9.36 last year. This works out to be a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 28% a year over that time. The growth in dividends has not been linear, but the CAGR is a decent approximation of the rate of change over this time frame.

It’s not great to see that the payment has been cut in the past. We’re generally more wary of companies that have cut their dividend before, as they tend to perform worse in an economic downturn.

Dividend Growth Potential

With a relatively unstable dividend, it’s even more important to see if earnings per share (EPS) are growing. Why take the risk of a dividend getting cut, unless there’s a good chance of bigger dividends in future? It’s good to see Sydbank has been growing its earnings per share at 40% a year over the past five years. With recent, rapid earnings per share growth and a payout ratio of 69%, this business looks like an interesting prospect if earnings are reinvested effectively.

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. Sydbank’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. Sydbank might not be a bad business, but it doesn’t show all of the characteristics we look for in a dividend stock.

Companies that are growing earnings tend to be the best dividend stocks over the long term. See what the 3 analysts we track are forecasting for Sydbank for free with public analyst estimates for the company.

We have also put together a list of global stocks with a market capitalisation above $1bn and yielding more 3%.

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.

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. Thank you for reading.