Should You Buy Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc (LON:SEPL) For Its Dividend?

A sizeable part of portfolio returns can be produced by dividend stocks due to their contribution to compounding returns in the long run. Historically, Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc (LON:SEPL) has paid dividends to shareholders, and these days it yields 5.9%. Should it have a place in your portfolio? Let’s take a look at Seplat Petroleum Development in more detail.

See our latest analysis for Seplat Petroleum Development

5 checks you should do on 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 it paid dividend every year without dramatically reducing payout in the past?
  • Has it increased its dividend per share amount over the past?
  • Does earnings amply cover its dividend payments?
  • Will it be able to continue to payout at the current rate in the future?
LSE:SEPL Historical Dividend Yield, March 18th 2019
LSE:SEPL Historical Dividend Yield, March 18th 2019

How well does Seplat Petroleum Development fit our criteria?

The company currently pays out 39% of its earnings as a dividend, according to its trailing twelve-month data, meaning the dividend is sufficiently covered by earnings. Going forward, analysts expect SEPL’s payout to increase to 61% of its earnings. Assuming a constant share price, this equates to a dividend yield of 7.8%. Moreover, EPS should increase to $0.27. The higher payout forecasted, along with higher earnings, should lead to greater dividend income for investors moving forward.

When assessing the forecast sustainability of a dividend it is also worth considering the cash flow of the business. Companies with strong cash flow can sustain a higher payout ratio, while companies with weaker cash flow generally cannot.

If there’s one type of stock you want to be reliable, it’s dividend stocks and their stable income-generating ability. The reality is that it is too early to consider Seplat Petroleum Development as a dividend investment. It has only been consistently paying dividends for 5 years, however, standard practice for reliable payers is to look for a 10-year minimum track record.

Compared to its peers, Seplat Petroleum Development generates a yield of 5.9%, which is high for Oil and Gas stocks.

Next Steps:

With this in mind, I definitely rank Seplat Petroleum Development as a strong dividend stock, and makes it worth further research for anyone who likes steady income generation from their portfolio. 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 fundamental aspects you should further research:

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for SEPL’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for SEPL’s outlook.
  2. Valuation: What is SEPL worth today? Even if the stock is a cash cow, it’s not worth an infinite price. The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether SEPL is currently mispriced by the market.
  3. Other 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.