Are Dividend Investors Making A Mistake With Philippos Nakas S.A. (ATH:NAKAS)?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
February 26, 2021
ATSE:NAKAS

Today we'll take a closer look at Philippos Nakas S.A. (ATH:NAKAS) from a dividend investor's perspective. Owning a strong business and reinvesting the dividends is widely seen as an attractive way of growing your wealth. If you are hoping to live on your dividends, it's important to be more stringent with your investments than the average punter. Regular readers know we like to apply the same approach to each dividend stock, and we hope you'll find our analysis useful.

Philippos Nakas yields a solid 7.3%, although it has only been paying for two years. It's certainly an attractive yield, but readers are likely curious about its staying power. The company also returned around 4.9% of its market capitalisation to shareholders in the form of stock buybacks over the past year. There are a few simple ways to reduce the risks of buying Philippos Nakas for its dividend, and we'll go through these below.

Click the interactive chart for our full dividend analysis

historic-dividend
ATSE:NAKAS Historic Dividend February 26th 2021

Payout ratios

Dividends are typically paid from company earnings. If a company pays more in dividends than it earned, then the dividend might become unsustainable - hardly an ideal situation. So we need to form a view on if a company's dividend is sustainable, relative to its net profit after tax. Looking at the data, we can see that 162% of Philippos Nakas' profits were paid out as dividends in the last 12 months. Unless there are extenuating circumstances, from the perspective of an investor who hopes to own the company for many years, a payout ratio of above 100% is definitely a concern.

In addition to comparing dividends against profits, we should inspect whether the company generated enough cash to pay its dividend. Philippos Nakas paid out 17% of its free cash flow as dividends last year, which is conservative and suggests the dividend is sustainable. It's good to see that while Philippos Nakas' dividends were not covered by profits, at least they are affordable from a cash perspective. Still, if the company repeatedly paid a dividend greater than its profits, we'd be concerned. Very few companies are able to sustainably pay dividends larger than their reported earnings.

Consider getting our latest analysis on Philippos Nakas' financial position here.

Dividend Volatility

One of the major risks of relying on dividend income, is the potential for a company to struggle financially and cut its dividend. Not only is your income cut, but the value of your investment declines as well - nasty. The dividend has not fluctuated much, but with a relatively short payment history, we can't be sure this is sustainable across a full market cycle. During the past two-year period, the first annual payment was €0.05 in 2019, compared to €0.1 last year. This works out to be a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 64% a year over that time.

We're not overly excited about the relatively short history of dividend payments, however the dividend is growing at a nice rate and we might take a closer look.

Dividend Growth Potential

While dividend payments have been relatively reliable, it would also be nice if earnings per share (EPS) were growing, as this is essential to maintaining the dividend's purchasing power over the long term. It's not great to see that Philippos Nakas' have fallen at approximately 3.1% over the past five years. A modest decline in earnings per share is not great to see, but it doesn't automatically make a dividend unsustainable. Still, we'd vastly prefer to see EPS growth when researching dividend stocks.

Conclusion

When we look at a dividend stock, we need to form a judgement on whether the dividend will grow, if the company is able to maintain it in a wide range of economic circumstances, and if the dividend payout is sustainable. We're not keen on the fact that Philippos Nakas paid out such a high percentage of its income, although its cashflow is in better shape. Earnings per share are down, and to our mind Philippos Nakas has not been paying a dividend long enough to demonstrate its resilience across economic cycles. In summary, Philippos Nakas has a number of shortcomings that we'd find it hard to get past. Things could change, but we think there are likely more attractive alternatives out there.

It's important to note that companies having a consistent dividend policy will generate greater investor confidence than those having an erratic one. However, there are other things to consider for investors when analysing stock performance. For example, we've identified 3 warning signs for Philippos Nakas (1 can't be ignored!) that you should be aware of before investing.

Looking for more high-yielding dividend ideas? Try our curated list of dividend stocks with a yield above 3%.

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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. 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.
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