Something To Consider Before Buying Saga Furs Oyj (HEL:SAGCV) For The 5.0% Dividend

Is Saga Furs Oyj (HEL:SAGCV) a good dividend stock? How can we tell? Dividend paying companies with growing earnings can be highly rewarding in the long term. Yet sometimes, investors buy a stock for its dividend and lose money because the share price falls by more than they earned in dividend payments.

In this case, Saga Furs Oyj likely looks attractive to investors, given its 5.0% dividend yield and a payment history of over ten years. We’d guess that plenty of investors have purchased it for the income. 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 Saga Furs Oyj!

HLSE:SAGCV Historical Dividend Yield, July 25th 2019
HLSE:SAGCV Historical Dividend Yield, July 25th 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. Comparing dividend payments to a company’s net profit after tax is a simple way of reality-checking whether a dividend is sustainable. Although it reported a loss over the past 12 months, Saga Furs Oyj currently pays a dividend. When a company recently reported a loss, we should investigate if its cash flows covered the dividend.

Saga Furs Oyj paid out a conservative 48% of its free cash flow as dividends last year.

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. For the purpose of this article, we only scrutinise the last decade of Saga Furs Oyj’s dividend payments. Its dividend payments have fallen by 20% or more on at least one occasion over the past ten years. During the past ten-year period, the first annual payment was €0.70 in 2009, compared to €0.50 last year. The dividend has shrunk at around 3.3% a year during that period. Saga Furs Oyj’s dividend has been cut sharply at least once, so it hasn’t fallen by 3.3% every year, but this is a decent approximation of the long term change.

A shrinking dividend over a ten-year period is not ideal, and we’d be concerned about investing in a dividend stock that lacks a solid record of growing dividends per share.

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? Over the past five years, it looks as though Saga Furs Oyj’s EPS have declined at around 14% a year. If earnings continue to decline, the dividend may come under pressure. Every investor should make an assessment of whether the company is taking steps to stabilise the situation.

Conclusion

Dividend investors should always want to know if a) a company’s dividends are affordable, b) if there is a track record of consistent payments, and c) if the dividend is capable of growing. We’re not keen on the fact that Saga Furs Oyj paid dividends despite reporting a loss over the past year, although fortunately its dividend was covered by cash flow. Earnings per share have been falling, and the company has cut its dividend at least once in the past. From a dividend perspective, this is a cause for concern. With this information in mind, we think Saga Furs Oyj may not be an ideal dividend stock.

Now, if you want to look closer, it would be worth checking out our free research on Saga Furs Oyj management tenure, salary, and performance.

If you are a dividend investor, you might also want to look at our curated list of dividend stocks yielding above 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.