Is Esso S.A.F. (EPA:ES) A Good Dividend Stock?

A sizeable part of portfolio returns can be produced by dividend stocks due to their contribution to compounding returns in the long run. Historically, Esso S.A.F. (EPA:ES) has paid dividends to shareholders, and these days it yields 4.2%. Should it have a place in your portfolio? Let’s take a look at EssoF in more detail.

View our latest analysis for EssoF

5 questions I ask before picking a dividend stock

When researching a dividend stock, I always follow the following screening criteria:

  • Is its annual yield among the top 25% of dividend-paying companies?
  • Has its dividend been stable over the past (i.e. no missed payments or significant payout cuts)?
  • Has dividend per share amount increased over the past?
  • Can it afford to pay the current rate of dividends from its earnings?
  • Will the company be able to keep paying dividend based on the future earnings growth?
ENXTPA:ES Historical Dividend Yield, March 6th 2019
ENXTPA:ES Historical Dividend Yield, March 6th 2019

How well does EssoF fit our criteria?

The company currently pays out 8.9% of its earnings as a dividend, according to its trailing twelve-month data, meaning the dividend is sufficiently covered by earnings. Furthermore, analysts have not forecasted a dividends per share for the future, which makes it hard to determine the yield shareholders should expect, and whether the current payout is sustainable, moving forward.

When thinking about whether a dividend is sustainable, another factor to consider is the cash flow. A business with strong cash flow can sustain a higher divided payout ratio than a company with weak cash flow.

If dividend is a key criteria in your investment consideration, then you need to make sure the dividend stock you’re eyeing out is reliable in its payments. Not only have dividend payouts from EssoF fallen over the past 10 years, it has also been highly volatile during this time, with drops of over 25% in some years. This means that dividend hunters should probably steer clear of the stock, at least for now until the track record improves.

In terms of its peers, EssoF produces a yield of 4.2%, which is on the low-side for Oil and Gas stocks.

Next Steps:

Now you know to keep in mind the reason why investors should be careful investing in EssoF for the dividend. On the other hand, if you are not strictly just a dividend investor, the stock could still be offering some interesting investment opportunities. Given that this is purely a dividend analysis, I urge potential investors to try and get a good understanding of the underlying business and its fundamentals before deciding on an investment. I’ve put together three pertinent aspects you should look at:

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for ES’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for ES’s outlook.
  2. Historical Performance: What has ES’s returns been like over the past? Go into more detail in the past track record analysis and take a look at the free visual representations of our analysis for more clarity.
  3. Dividend Rockstars: Are there better dividend payers with stronger fundamentals out there? Check out our free list of these great stocks here.

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.