Is Valmet Oyj (HEL:VALMT) A Smart Choice For Dividend Investors?

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Is Valmet Oyj (HEL:VALMT) a good dividend stock? How would you know? Dividend paying companies with growing earnings can be highly rewarding in the long term. Unfortunately, it’s common for investors to be enticed in by the seemingly attractive yield, and lose money when the company has to cut its dividend payments.

In this case, Valmet Oyj likely looks attractive to dividend investors, given its 3.0% dividend yield and five-year payment history. We’d agree the yield does look enticing. Some simple analysis can reduce the risk of holding Valmet Oyj for its dividend, and we’ll focus on the most important aspects below.

Explore this interactive chart for our latest analysis on Valmet Oyj!

HLSE:VALMT Historical Dividend Yield, June 7th 2019
HLSE:VALMT Historical Dividend Yield, June 7th 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. 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. In the last year, Valmet Oyj paid out 56% of its profit as dividends. This is a healthy payout ratio, and while it does limit the amount of earnings that can be reinvested in the business, there is also some room to lift the payout ratio over time.

Another important check we do is to see if the free cash flow generated is sufficient to pay the dividend. Valmet Oyj’s cash payout ratio in the last year was 38%, which suggests dividends were well covered by cash generated by the business. It’s encouraging to see that the dividend is covered by both profit and cash flow. This generally suggests the dividend is sustainable, as long as earnings don’t drop precipitously.

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

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. Valmet Oyj has been paying a dividend for the past five years. During the past five-year period, the first annual payment was €0.15 in 2014, compared to €0.65 last year. Dividends per share have grown at approximately 34% per year over this time.

Valmet Oyj has been growing its dividend quite rapidly, which is exciting. However, the short payment history makes us question whether this performance will persist across a full market cycle.

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. It’s good to see Valmet Oyj has been growing its earnings per share at 40% a year over the past 5 years. With recent, rapid earnings per share growth and a payout ratio of 56%, 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. Valmet Oyj’s payout ratios are within a normal range for the average corporation, and we like that its cashflow was stronger than reported profits. We were also glad to see it growing earnings, although its dividend history is not as long as we’d like. Overall we think Valmet Oyj is an interesting dividend stock, although it could be better.

Earnings growth generally bodes well for the future value of company dividend payments. See if the 8 Valmet Oyj analysts we track are forecasting continued growth with our free report on 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.