Dividend paying stocks like Quanzhou Huixin Micro-Credit Co., Ltd. (HKG:1577) tend to be popular with investors, and for good reason - some research suggests a significant amount of all stock market returns come from reinvested dividends. 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.
Quanzhou Huixin Micro-Credit yields a solid 4.0%, although it has only been paying for three years. A high yield probably looks enticing, but investors are likely wondering about the short payment history. Some simple analysis can offer a lot of insights when buying a company for its dividend, and we'll go through this below.
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. As a result, we should always investigate whether a company can afford its dividend, measured as a percentage of a company's net income after tax. Quanzhou Huixin Micro-Credit paid out 40% of its profit as dividends, over the trailing twelve month period. This is a medium payout level that leaves enough capital in the business to fund opportunities that might arise, while also rewarding shareholders. Besides, if reinvestment opportunities dry up, the company has room to increase the dividend.
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. Its most recent annual dividend was CN¥0.05 per share, effectively flat on its first payment three years ago.
We like that the dividend hasn't been shrinking. However we're conscious that the company hasn't got an overly long track record of dividend payments yet, which makes us wary of relying on its dividend income.
Dividend Growth Potential
Dividend payments have been consistent over the past few years, but we should always check if earnings per share (EPS) are growing, as this will help maintain the purchasing power of the dividend. Quanzhou Huixin Micro-Credit's EPS are effectively flat over the past five years. Over the long term, steady earnings per share is a risk as the value of the dividends can be reduced by inflation. Quanzhou Huixin Micro-Credit is paying out less than half of its earnings, which we like. Earnings per share growth have grown slowly, which is not great, but if the retained earnings can be reinvested effectively, future growth may be stronger.
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. Firstly, we like that Quanzhou Huixin Micro-Credit has a low and conservative payout ratio. Second, the company has not been able to generate earnings growth, and its history of dividend payments is shorter than we consider ideal (from a reliability perspective). Quanzhou Huixin Micro-Credit might not be a bad business, but it doesn't show all of the characteristics we look for in a dividend stock.
You can also discover whether shareholders are aligned with insider interests by checking our visualisation of insider shareholdings and trades in Quanzhou Huixin Micro-Credit stock.
Looking for more high-yielding dividend ideas? Try our curated list of dividend stocks with a yield above 3%.
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