Is Konecranes Plc (HEL:KCR) At Risk Of Cutting Its Dividend?

Is Konecranes Plc (HEL:KCR) a good dividend stock? How would you know? A dividend paying company with growing earnings can be rewarding in the long term. If you are hoping to live on your dividends, it’s important to be more stringent with your investments than the average punter. Regular readers know we like to apply the same approach to each dividend stock, and we hope you’ll find our analysis useful.

In this case, Konecranes likely looks attractive to investors, given its 3.3% dividend yield and a payment history of over ten years. It would not be a surprise to discover that many investors buy it for the dividends. Before you buy any stock for its dividend however, you should always remember Warren Buffett’s two rules: 1) Don’t lose money, and 2) Remember rule #1. We’ll run through some checks below to help with this.

Explore this interactive chart for our latest analysis on Konecranes!
HLSE:KCR Historical Dividend Yield, April 18th 2019
HLSE:KCR Historical Dividend Yield, April 18th 2019

Payout ratios

Dividends are usually paid out of company earnings. If a company is paying more than it earns, 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 93% of Konecranes’s profits were paid out as dividends in the last 12 months. Its payout ratio is quite high, and the dividend is not well covered by earnings. If earnings are growing or the company has a large cash balance, this might be sustainable – still, we think it is a concern.

In addition to comparing dividends against profits, we should inspect whether the company generated enough cash to pay its dividend. With a cash payout ratio of 133%, Konecranes’s dividend payments are poorly covered by cash flow. Paying out more than 100% of your free cash flow in dividends is generally not a long-term, sustainable state of affairs, so we think shareholders should watch this metric closely.

Is Konecranes’s Balance Sheet Risky?

As Konecranes’s dividend was not well covered by earnings, we need to check its balance sheet for signs of financial distress.

A quick way to check a company’s financial situation uses these two ratios: net debt divided by EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation), and net interest cover. Net debt to EBITDA measures a company’s total debt load relative to its earnings (lower = less debt), while net interest cover measures the company’s ability to pay the interest on its debt (higher = greater ability to pay interest costs). With net debt of 2.09 times its EBITDA, Konecranes’s debt burden is within a normal range for most listed companies.

Net interest cover can be calculated by dividing earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) by the company’s net interest expense. Konecranes has EBIT of 8.18 times its interest expense, which we think is adequate.

We update our data on Konecranes every 24 hours, so you can always get our latest analysis of its financial health, here.

Dividend Volatility

Before buying a stock for its income, we want to see if the dividends have been stable in the past, and if the company has a track record of maintaining its dividend. For the purpose of this article, we only scrutinise the last decade of Konecranes’s dividend payments. During this period the dividend has been stable, which could imply the business could have relatively consistent earnings power. During the past ten-year period, the first annual payment was €0.90 in 2009, compared to €1.20 last year. This works out to be a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 2.9% a year over that time.

Dividend Growth Potential

Dividend payments have been consistent over the past few years, but we should always check if earnings per share (EPS) are growing, as this will help maintain the purchasing power of the dividend. Konecranes has grown its earnings per share at 8.7% per annum over the past five years. Although per-share earnings are growing at a credible rate, virtually all of the income is being paid out as dividends to shareholders. This is okay, but may limit growth in the company’s future dividend payments.

Conclusion

To summarise, shareholders should always check that Konecranes’s dividends are affordable, that its dividend payments are relatively stable, and that it has decent prospects for growing its earnings and dividend. Konecranes paid out almost all of its cash flow and profit as dividends, leaving little to reinvest in the business. Earnings growth has been limited, but we like that the dividend payments have been fairly consistent. With this information in mind, we think Konecranes may not be an ideal dividend stock.

Companies that are growing earnings tend to be the best dividend stocks over the long term. See what the 10 analysts we track are forecasting for Konecranes 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%.

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.