Endesa (BME:ELE) Is Reducing Its Dividend To €0.76

Simply Wall St
April 28, 2022
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Endesa, S.A. (BME:ELE) has announced it will be reducing its dividend payable on the 1st of July to €0.76. However, the dividend yield of 5.8% is still a decent boost to shareholder returns.

See our latest analysis for Endesa

Endesa's Dividend Is Well Covered By Earnings

A big dividend yield for a few years doesn't mean much if it can't be sustained. Prior to this announcement, the company was paying out 106% of what it was earning. It will be difficult to sustain this level of payout so we wouldn't be confident about this continuing.

Earnings per share is forecast to rise by 20.3% over the next year. If the dividend continues growing along recent trends, we estimate the payout ratio could reach 78%, which is on the higher side, but certainly still feasible.

BME:ELE Historic Dividend April 28th 2022

Dividend Volatility

Although the company has a long dividend history, it has been cut at least once in the last 10 years. Since 2012, the dividend has gone from €1.02 to €1.44. This implies that the company grew its distributions at a yearly rate of about 3.5% over that duration. It's encouraging to see some dividend growth, but the dividend has been cut at least once, and the size of the cut would eliminate most of the growth anyway, which makes this less attractive as an income investment.

Dividend Growth May Be Hard To Achieve

Given that the dividend has been cut in the past, we need to check if earnings are growing and if that might lead to stronger dividends in the future. Although it's important to note that Endesa's earnings per share has basically not grown from where it was five years ago, which could erode the purchasing power of the dividend over time. The company is paying out a lot of its profits, even though it is growing those profits pretty slowly. 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, the dividend looks like it may have been a bit high, which explains why it has now been cut. The payments are bit high to be considered sustainable, and the track record isn't the best. We don't think Endesa is a great stock to add to your portfolio if income is your focus.

Companies possessing a stable dividend policy will likely enjoy greater investor interest than those suffering from a more inconsistent approach. Still, investors need to consider a host of other factors, apart from dividend payments, when analysing a company. To that end, Endesa has 3 warning signs (and 1 which is potentially serious) we think you should know about. Is Endesa not quite the opportunity you were looking for? Why not check out our selection of top dividend stocks.

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