Consider This Before Buying Sophos Group plc (LON:SOPH) For The 1.0% Dividend

A sizeable part of portfolio returns can be produced by dividend stocks due to their contribution to compounding returns in the long run. Sophos Group plc (LON:SOPH) has recently paid dividends to shareholders, and currently yields 1.0%. Does Sophos Group tick all the boxes of a great dividend stock? Below, I’ll take you through my analysis.

Check out our latest analysis for Sophos Group

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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:

  • Is their annual yield among the top 25% of dividend payers?
  • Has it paid dividend every year without dramatically reducing payout in the past?
  • Has the amount of dividend per share grown over the past?
  • Is its earnings sufficient to payout dividend at the current rate?
  • Will the company be able to keep paying dividend based on the future earnings growth?
LSE:SOPH Historical Dividend Yield January 16th 19
LSE:SOPH Historical Dividend Yield January 16th 19

Does Sophos Group pass our checks?

Sophos Group has a negative payout ratio, which is usually not ideal.

When considering the sustainability of dividends, it is also worth checking the cash flow of a company. A company with strong cash flow, relative to earnings, can sometimes sustain a high pay out ratio.

If there’s one type of stock you want to be reliable, it’s dividend stocks and their stable income-generating ability. Unfortunately, it is really too early to view Sophos Group as a dividend investment. It has only been consistently paying dividends for 3 years, however, standard practice for reliable payers is to look for a 10-year minimum track record.

Relative to peers, Sophos Group generates a yield of 1.0%, which is on the low-side for Software stocks.

Next Steps:

After digging a little deeper into Sophos Group’s yield, it’s easy to see why you should be cautious investing in the company just 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, you should always research extensively before deciding whether or not a stock is an appropriate investment for you. I always recommend analysing the company’s fundamentals and underlying business before making an investment decision. I’ve put together three pertinent aspects you should look at:

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

To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.

The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com.