Should Pets at Home Group Plc (LON:PETS) Be Part Of Your Income Portfolio?

A sizeable part of portfolio returns can be produced by dividend stocks due to their contribution to compounding returns in the long run. In the last few years Pets at Home Group Plc (LON:PETS) has paid a dividend to shareholders. Today it yields 4.8%. Does at Home Group tick all the boxes of a great dividend stock? Below, I’ll take you through my analysis.

See our latest analysis for at Home Group

5 checks you should use to assess a dividend stock

When assessing a stock as a potential addition to my dividend Portfolio, I look at these five areas:

  • Does it pay an annual yield higher than 75% of dividend payers?
  • Has its dividend been stable over the past (i.e. no missed payments or significant payout cuts)?
  • 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:PETS Historical Dividend Yield, April 3rd 2019
LSE:PETS Historical Dividend Yield, April 3rd 2019

How well does at Home Group fit our criteria?

at Home Group has a trailing twelve-month payout ratio of 103%, meaning the dividend is not sufficiently covered by its earnings. In the near future, analysts are predicting a more sensible payout ratio of 52%, which, assuming the share price stays the same, leads to a dividend yield of 4.8%. Moreover, EPS should increase to £0.12, meaning that the lower payout ratio does not necessarily implicate a lower dividend payment.

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 is one thing that you want to be reliable in your life, it’s dividend stocks and their constant income stream. Unfortunately, it is really too early to view at Home Group as a dividend investment. It has only been consistently paying dividends for 4 years, however, standard practice for reliable payers is to look for a 10-year minimum track record.

Compared to its peers, at Home Group has a yield of 4.8%, which is high for Specialty Retail stocks but still below the market’s top dividend payers.

Next Steps:

Now you know to keep in mind the reason why investors should be careful investing in at Home Group 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 recommend taking sufficient time to understand its core business and determine whether the company and its investment properties suit your overall goals. Below, I’ve compiled three important aspects you should further examine:

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for PETS’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for PETS’s outlook.
  2. Valuation: What is PETS 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 PETS is currently mispriced by the market.
  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.