Pennon Group's (LON:PNN) Shareholders Will Receive A Bigger Dividend Than Last Year

Published
July 15, 2022
LSE:PNN
Source: Shutterstock

The board of Pennon Group Plc (LON:PNN) has announced that it will be paying its dividend of £0.2683 on the 5th of September, an increased payment from last year's comparable dividend. This takes the dividend yield to 3.9%, which shareholders will be pleased with.

See our latest analysis for Pennon Group

Pennon Group's Earnings Easily Cover the Distributions

While it is great to have a strong dividend yield, we should also consider whether the payment is sustainable. Based on the last payment, the company wasn't making enough to cover what it was paying to shareholders. Without profits and cash flows increasing, it would be difficult for the company to continue paying the dividend at this level.

According to analysts, EPS should be several times higher next year. If the dividend continues along recent trends, we estimate the payout ratio will be 59%, which would make us comfortable with the dividend's sustainability, despite the levels currently being elevated.

historic-dividend
LSE:PNN Historic Dividend July 15th 2022

Dividend Volatility

The company has a long dividend track record, but it doesn't look great with cuts in the past. Since 2012, the dividend has gone from £0.381 total annually to £0.385. Dividend payments have been growing, but very slowly over the period. It's encouraging to see some dividend growth, but the dividend has been cut at least once, and the size of the cut would eliminate most of the growth anyway, which makes this less attractive as an income investment.

The Dividend Has Limited Growth Potential

With a relatively unstable dividend, it's even more important to see if earnings per share is growing. Over the past five years, it looks as though Pennon Group's EPS has declined at around 37% a year. A sharp decline in earnings per share is not great from from a dividend perspective. Even conservative payout ratios can come under pressure if earnings fall far enough. However, the next year is actually looking up, with earnings set to rise. We would just wait until it becomes a pattern before getting too excited.

We're Not Big Fans Of Pennon Group's Dividend

In conclusion, we have some concerns about this dividend, even though it being raised is good. The company's earnings aren't high enough to be making such big distributions, and it isn't backed up by strong growth or consistency either. We don't think that this is a great candidate to be an income stock.

Investors generally tend to favour companies with a consistent, stable dividend policy as opposed to those operating an irregular one. Still, investors need to consider a host of other factors, apart from dividend payments, when analysing a company. Just as an example, we've come across 3 warning signs for Pennon Group you should be aware of, and 2 of them can't be ignored. If you are a dividend investor, you might also want to look at our curated list of high yield dividend stocks.

Valuation is complex, but we're helping make it simple.

Find out whether Pennon Group is potentially over or undervalued by checking out our comprehensive analysis, which includes fair value estimates, risks and warnings, dividends, insider transactions and financial health.

View the Free Analysis