Stock Analysis

Melbourne Enterprises (HKG:158) Will Pay A Dividend Of HK$1.80

SEHK:158
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The board of Melbourne Enterprises Limited (HKG:158) has announced that it will pay a dividend on the 15th of February, with investors receiving HK$1.80 per share. This payment means the dividend yield will be 3.6%, which is below the average for the industry.

See our latest analysis for Melbourne Enterprises

Melbourne Enterprises' Distributions May Be Difficult To Sustain

If it is predictable over a long period, even low dividend yields can be attractive. Even while not generating a profit, Melbourne Enterprises is paying out most of its free cash flows as a dividend. Generally paying a dividend without making profits isn't a great idea and we are also worried that there is limited reinvestment into the business.

Recent, EPS has fallen by 26.8%, so this could continue over the next year. This means the company won't be turning a profit, which could place managers in the tough spot of having to choose between suspending the dividend or putting more pressure on the balance sheet.

historic-dividend
SEHK:158 Historic Dividend January 4th 2024

Dividend Volatility

The company has a long dividend track record, but it doesn't look great with cuts in the past. Since 2014, the annual payment back then was HK$4.60, compared to the most recent full-year payment of HK$3.60. This works out to be a decline of approximately 2.4% per year over that time. A company that decreases its dividend over time generally isn't what we are looking for.

Dividend Growth Potential Is Shaky

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. Melbourne Enterprises' earnings per share has shrunk at 27% a year over the past five years. This steep decline can indicate that the business is going through a tough time, which could constrain its ability to pay a larger dividend each year in the future.

The Dividend Could Prove To Be Unreliable

Overall, we don't think this company makes a great dividend stock, even though the dividend wasn't cut this year. The track record isn't great, and the payments are a bit high to be considered sustainable. Overall, we don't think this company has the makings of a good income stock.

Investors generally tend to favour companies with a consistent, stable dividend policy as opposed to those operating an irregular one. Still, investors need to consider a host of other factors, apart from dividend payments, when analysing a company. Taking the debate a bit further, we've identified 2 warning signs for Melbourne Enterprises that investors need to be conscious of moving forward. If you are a dividend investor, you might also want to look at our curated list of high yield dividend stocks.

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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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.