Balfour Beatty plc (LON:BBY) will increase its dividend on the 6th of July to UK£0.06. This takes the annual payment to 3.7% of the current stock price, which is about average for the industry.
Balfour Beatty's Dividend Is Well Covered By Earnings
Solid dividend yields are great, but they only really help us if the payment is sustainable. The last dividend was quite easily covered by Balfour Beatty's earnings. This indicates that a lot of the earnings are being reinvested into the business, with the aim of fueling growth.
Looking forward, earnings per share is forecast to rise by 28.8% over the next year. Assuming the dividend continues along recent trends, we think the payout ratio could be 37% by next year, which is in a pretty sustainable range.
Although the company has a long dividend history, it has been cut at least once in the last 10 years. Since 2012, the first annual payment was UK£0.14, compared to the most recent full-year payment of UK£0.09. The dividend has shrunk at around 4.2% a year during that period. Declining dividends isn't generally what we look for as they can indicate that the company is running into some challenges.
The Dividend Looks Likely To Grow
Growing earnings per share could be a mitigating factor when considering the past fluctuations in the dividend. Balfour Beatty has seen EPS rising for the last five years, at 138% per annum. The company doesn't have any problems growing, despite returning a lot of capital to shareholders, which is a very nice combination for a dividend stock to have.
We Really Like Balfour Beatty's Dividend
In summary, it is always positive to see the dividend being increased, and we are particularly pleased with its overall sustainability. Distributions are quite easily covered by earnings, which are also being converted to cash flows. All of these factors considered, we think this has solid potential as a dividend stock.
Investors generally tend to favour companies with a consistent, stable dividend policy as opposed to those operating an irregular one. At the same time, there are other factors our readers should be conscious of before pouring capital into a stock. For example, we've picked out 2 warning signs for Balfour Beatty that investors should know about before committing capital to this stock. Looking for more high-yielding dividend ideas? Try our collection of strong dividend payers.
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