Stock Analysis

Could China Hanking Holdings Limited (HKG:3788) Have The Makings Of Another Dividend Aristocrat?

SEHK:3788
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Today we'll take a closer look at China Hanking Holdings Limited (HKG:3788) 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. Unfortunately, it's common for investors to be enticed in by the seemingly attractive yield, and lose money when the company has to cut its dividend payments.

With a nine-year payment history and a 5.4% yield, many investors probably find China Hanking Holdings intriguing. We'd agree the yield does look enticing. The company also returned around 1.0% of its market capitalisation to shareholders in the form of stock buybacks over the past year. Some simple analysis can reduce the risk of holding China Hanking Holdings for its dividend, and we'll focus on the most important aspects below.

Explore this interactive chart for our latest analysis on China Hanking Holdings!

historic-dividend
SEHK:3788 Historic Dividend February 9th 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. Comparing dividend payments to a company's net profit after tax is a simple way of reality-checking whether a dividend is sustainable. Looking at the data, we can see that 55% of China Hanking Holdings' profits were paid out as dividends in the last 12 months. This is a fairly normal payout ratio among most businesses. It allows a higher dividend to be paid to shareholders, but does limit the capital retained in the business - which could be good or bad.

In addition to comparing dividends against profits, we should inspect whether the company generated enough cash to pay its dividend. China Hanking Holdings' cash payout ratio in the last year was 29%, which suggests dividends were well covered by cash generated by the business. It's positive to see that China Hanking Holdings' dividend is covered by both profits and cash flow, since this is generally a sign that the dividend is sustainable, and a lower payout ratio usually suggests a greater margin of safety before the dividend gets cut.

Consider getting our latest analysis on China Hanking Holdings' financial position here.

Dividend Volatility

Before buying a stock for its income, we want to see if the dividends have been stable in the past, and if the company has a track record of maintaining its dividend. Looking at the last decade of data, we can see that China Hanking Holdings paid its first dividend at least nine years ago. It's good to see that China Hanking Holdings has been paying a dividend for a number of years. However, the dividend has been cut at least once in the past, and we're concerned that what has been cut once, could be cut again. During the past nine-year period, the first annual payment was CN¥0.02 in 2012, compared to CN¥0.07 last year. This works out to be a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 14% a year over that time. The growth in dividends has not been linear, but the CAGR is a decent approximation of the rate of change over this time frame.

It's not great to see that the payment has been cut in the past. We're generally more wary of companies that have cut their dividend before, as they tend to perform worse in an economic downturn.

Dividend Growth Potential

With a relatively unstable dividend, it's even more important to see if earnings per share (EPS) are growing. Why take the risk of a dividend getting cut, unless there's a good chance of bigger dividends in future? It's good to see China Hanking Holdings has been growing its earnings per share at 64% a year over the past five years. With recent, rapid earnings per share growth and a payout ratio of 55%, this business looks like an interesting prospect if earnings are reinvested effectively.

Conclusion

Dividend investors should always want to know if a) a company's dividends are affordable, b) if there is a track record of consistent payments, and c) if the dividend is capable of growing. First, we think China Hanking Holdings has an acceptable payout ratio and its dividend is well covered by cashflow. Next, earnings growth has been good, but unfortunately the dividend has been cut at least once in the past. Overall we think China Hanking Holdings is an interesting dividend stock, although it could be better.

It's important to note that companies having a consistent dividend policy will generate greater investor confidence than those having an erratic one. Still, investors need to consider a host of other factors, apart from dividend payments, when analysing a company. For example, we've picked out 3 warning signs for China Hanking Holdings that investors should know about before committing capital to this stock.

If you are a dividend investor, you might also want to look at our curated list of dividend stocks yielding 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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