Is Bank of Zhengzhou Co., Ltd. (HKG:6196) A Smart Pick For Income Investors?

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Is Bank of Zhengzhou Co., Ltd. (HKG:6196) a good dividend stock? How would you know? Dividend paying companies with growing earnings can be highly rewarding in the long term. 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.

Bank of Zhengzhou yields a solid 5.7%, although it has only been paying for three years. It’s certainly an attractive yield, but readers are likely curious about its staying power. Some simple analysis can reduce the risk of holding Bank of Zhengzhou for its dividend, and we’ll focus on the most important aspects below.

Click the interactive chart for our full dividend analysis

SEHK:6196 Historical Dividend Yield, June 18th 2019
SEHK:6196 Historical Dividend Yield, June 18th 2019

Payout ratios

Dividends are usually paid out of company earnings. If a company is paying more than it earns, 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. Bank of Zhengzhou paid out 34% of its profit as dividends, over the trailing twelve month period. This is a middling range that strikes a nice balance between paying dividends to shareholders, and retaining enough earnings to invest in future growth. Besides, if reinvestment opportunities dry up, the company has room to increase the dividend.

Remember, you can always get a snapshot of Bank of Zhengzhou’s latest financial position, by checking our visualisation of its financial health.

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. It has only been paying dividends for a few short years, and the dividend has already been cut at least once. This is one income stream we’re not ready to live on. During the past three-year period, the first annual payment was CN¥0.20 in 2016, compared to CN¥0.15 last year. The dividend has shrunk at around 9.1% a year during that period. Bank of Zhengzhou’s dividend has been cut sharply at least once, so it hasn’t fallen by 9.1% every year, but this is a decent approximation of the long term change.

When a company’s per-share dividend falls we question if this reflects poorly on either the business or management. Either way, we find it hard to get excited about a company with a declining dividend.

Dividend Growth Potential

With a relatively unstable dividend, and a poor history of shrinking dividends, it’s even more important to see if EPS are growing. Bank of Zhengzhou’s earnings per share have been essentially flat over the past five years. Flat earnings per share are acceptable for a time, but over the long term, the purchasing power of the company’s dividends could be eroded by inflation.

We’d also point out that Bank of Zhengzhou issued a meaningful number of new shares in the past year. Regularly issuing new shares can be detrimental – it’s hard to grow dividends per share when new shares are regularly being created.

Conclusion

To summarise, shareholders should always check that Bank of Zhengzhou’s dividends are affordable, that its dividend payments are relatively stable, and that it has decent prospects for growing its earnings and dividend. We’re glad to see Bank of Zhengzhou has a low payout ratio, as this suggests earnings are being reinvested in the business. Earnings per share have been falling, and the company has cut its dividend at least once in the past. From a dividend perspective, this is a cause for concern. In summary, we’re unenthused by Bank of Zhengzhou as a dividend stock. It’s not that we think it is a bad company; it simply falls short of our criteria in some key areas.

You can also discover whether shareholders are aligned with insider interests by checking our visualisation of insider shareholdings and trades in Bank of Zhengzhou stock.

We have also put together a list of global stocks with a market capitalisation above $1bn and yielding more 3%.

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.