- United Kingdom
- Basic Materials
Marshalls (LON:MSLH) Is Increasing Its Dividend To £0.099
The board of Marshalls plc (LON:MSLH) has announced that it will be paying its dividend of £0.099 on the 3rd of July, an increased payment from last year's comparable dividend. This makes the dividend yield 5.0%, which is above the industry average.
Check out our latest analysis for Marshalls
Marshalls' Dividend Is Well Covered By Earnings
While it is great to have a strong dividend yield, we should also consider whether the payment is sustainable. Based on the last payment, Marshalls' profits didn't cover the dividend, but the company was generating enough cash instead. Given that the dividend is a cash outflow, we think that cash is more important than accounting measures of profit when assessing the dividend, so this is a mitigating factor.
Looking forward, earnings per share is forecast to rise by 159.6% over the next year. If the dividend continues along recent trends, we estimate the payout ratio will be 60%, which would make us comfortable with the sustainability of the dividend, despite the levels currently being quite high.
Although the company has a long dividend history, it has been cut at least once in the last 10 years. Since 2013, the dividend has gone from £0.0525 total annually to £0.156. This implies that the company grew its distributions at a yearly rate of about 12% over that duration. It is great to see strong growth in the dividend payments, but cuts are concerning as it may indicate the payout policy is too ambitious.
The Dividend Has Limited Growth Potential
Given that the dividend has been cut in the past, we need to check if earnings are growing and if that might lead to stronger dividends in the future. Marshalls' EPS has fallen by approximately 13% per year during the past five years. Such rapid declines definitely have the potential to constrain dividend payments if the trend continues into the future. Over the next year, however, earnings are actually predicted to rise, but we would still be cautious until a track record of earnings growth can be built.
An additional note is that the company has been raising capital by issuing stock equal to 27% of shares outstanding in the last 12 months. Trying to grow the dividend when issuing new shares reminds us of the ancient Greek tale of Sisyphus - perpetually pushing a boulder uphill. Companies that consistently issue new shares are often suboptimal from a dividend perspective.
Marshalls' Dividend Doesn't Look Sustainable
Overall, we always like to see the dividend being raised, but we don't think Marshalls will make a great income stock. The company is generating plenty of cash, which could maintain the dividend for a while, but the track record hasn't been great. We would be a touch cautious of relying on this stock primarily for the dividend income.
Market movements attest to how highly valued a consistent dividend policy is compared to one which is more unpredictable. Meanwhile, despite the importance of dividend payments, they are not the only factors our readers should know when assessing a company. For example, we've picked out 4 warning signs for Marshalls 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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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.
Marshalls plc manufactures and supplies hard landscaping products in the United Kingdom and internationally.
Adequate balance sheet with moderate growth potential.