Could Dawnrays Pharmaceutical (Holdings) Limited (HKG:2348) be an attractive dividend share to own for the long haul? Investors are often drawn to strong companies with the idea of reinvesting the dividends. Yet sometimes, investors buy a popular dividend stock because of its yield, and then lose money if the company's dividend doesn't live up to expectations.
A high yield and a long history of paying dividends is an appealing combination for Dawnrays Pharmaceutical (Holdings). It would not be a surprise to discover that many investors buy it for the dividends. During the year, the company also conducted a buyback equivalent to around 2.3% of its market capitalisation. When buying stocks for their dividends, you should always run through the checks below, to see if the dividend looks sustainable.
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. In the last year, Dawnrays Pharmaceutical (Holdings) paid out 35% of its profit as dividends. This is a middling range that strikes a nice balance between paying dividends to shareholders, and retaining enough earnings to invest in future growth. Plus, there is room to increase the payout ratio over time.
In addition to comparing dividends against profits, we should inspect whether the company generated enough cash to pay its dividend. Of the free cash flow it generated last year, Dawnrays Pharmaceutical (Holdings) paid out 49% as dividends, suggesting the dividend is affordable. It's encouraging to see that the dividend is covered by both profit and cash flow. This generally suggests the dividend is sustainable, as long as earnings don't drop precipitously.
While the above analysis focuses on dividends relative to a company's earnings, we do note Dawnrays Pharmaceutical (Holdings)'s strong net cash position, which will let it pay larger dividends for a time, should it choose.
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. Dawnrays Pharmaceutical (Holdings) has been paying dividends for a long time, but for the purpose of this analysis, we only examine the past 10 years of payments. Its dividend payments have declined on at least one occasion over the past 10 years. During the past 10-year period, the first annual payment was CN¥0.03 in 2011, compared to CN¥0.05 last year. Dividends per share have grown at approximately 5.0% per year over this time. The dividends haven't grown at precisely 5.0% every year, but this is a useful way to average out the historical rate of growth.
It's good 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. We're not that enthused by this.
Dividend Growth Potential
Given that the dividend has been cut in the past, we need to check if earnings are growing and if that might lead to stronger dividends in the future. Dawnrays Pharmaceutical (Holdings)'s EPS are effectively 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.
To summarise, shareholders should always check that Dawnrays Pharmaceutical (Holdings)'s dividends are affordable, that its dividend payments are relatively stable, and that it has decent prospects for growing its earnings and dividend. Firstly, we like that Dawnrays Pharmaceutical (Holdings) has low and conservative payout ratios. 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 sum, we find it hard to get excited about Dawnrays Pharmaceutical (Holdings) from a dividend perspective. It's not that we think it's a bad business; just that there are other companies that perform better on these criteria.
Companies possessing a stable dividend policy will likely enjoy greater investor interest than those suffering from a more inconsistent approach. At the same time, there are other factors our readers should be conscious of before pouring capital into a stock. For example, we've identified 2 warning signs for Dawnrays Pharmaceutical (Holdings) (1 makes us a bit uncomfortable!) 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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Dawnrays Pharmaceutical (Holdings)
Dawnrays Pharmaceutical (Holdings) Limited, an investment holding company, develops, manufactures, and sells non-patented pharmaceutical medicines in Mainland China and internationally.
Excellent balance sheet with solid track record.