AEON Stores (Hong Kong) Co., Limited's (HKG:984) dividend is being reduced to HK$0.02 on the 28th of June. The yield is still above the industry average at 3.9%.
AEON Stores (Hong Kong) Might Find It Hard To Continue The Dividend
If the payments aren't sustainable, a high yield for a few years won't matter that much. AEON Stores (Hong Kong) is not generating a profit, but its free cash flows easily cover the dividend, leaving plenty for reinvestment in the business. We generally think that cash flow is more important than accounting measures of profit, so we are fairly comfortable with the dividend at this level.
Looking forward, earnings per share could 47.7% over the next year if the trend of the last few years can't be broken. While this means that the company will be unprofitable, we generally believe cash flows are more important, and the current cash payout ratio is quite healthy, which gives us comfort.
Although the company has a long dividend history, it has been cut at least once in the last 10 years. Since 2012, the dividend has gone from HK$0.57 to HK$0.04. Dividend payments have fallen sharply, down 93% 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 dividend payments have been shrinking like a glacier in a warming world, we need to check if there are some bright spots on the horizon. AEON Stores (Hong Kong)'s EPS has fallen by approximately 48% per year during 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, the dividend looks like it may have been a bit high, which explains why it has now been cut. The company is generating plenty of cash, which could maintain the dividend for a while, but the track record hasn't been great. We would probably look elsewhere for an income investment.
Companies possessing a stable dividend policy will likely enjoy greater investor interest than those suffering from a more inconsistent approach. However, there are other things to consider for investors when analysing stock performance. Just as an example, we've come across 3 warning signs for AEON Stores (Hong Kong) you should be aware of, and 1 of them is concerning. Looking for more high-yielding dividend ideas? Try our collection of strong dividend payers.
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