Is Air China Limited (HKG:753) A Smart Pick For Income Investors?

Want to participate in a short research study? Help shape the future of investing tools and receive a $20 prize!

Dividends can be underrated but they form a large part of investment returns, playing an important role in compounding returns in the long run. Historically, Air China Limited (HKG:753) has paid dividends to shareholders, and these days it yields 1.5%. Does Air China tick all the boxes of a great dividend stock? Below, I’ll take you through my analysis.

View our latest analysis for Air China

5 checks you should do on a dividend stock

When assessing a stock as a potential addition to my dividend Portfolio, I look at these five areas:

  • Does it pay an annual yield higher than 75% of dividend payers?
  • Has it paid dividend every year without dramatically reducing payout in the past?
  • Has the amount of dividend per share grown over the past?
  • Is its earnings sufficient to payout dividend at the current rate?
  • Will the company be able to keep paying dividend based on the future earnings growth?
SEHK:753 Historical Dividend Yield, February 25th 2019
SEHK:753 Historical Dividend Yield, February 25th 2019

How does Air China fare?

Air China has a trailing twelve-month payout ratio of 27%, which means that the dividend is covered by earnings. In the near future, analysts are predicting lower payout ratio of 13% which, assuming the share price stays the same, leads to a dividend yield of around 2.0%. However, EPS should increase to CN¥0.60, meaning that the lower payout ratio does not necessarily implicate a lower dividend payment.

When considering the sustainability of dividends, it is also worth checking the cash flow of a company. Companies with strong cash flow can sustain a higher payout ratio, while companies with weaker cash flow generally cannot.

If dividend is a key criteria in your investment consideration, then you need to make sure the dividend stock you’re eyeing out is reliable in its payments. Whilst its per-share payments have increased during the past 10 years, there has been some hiccups. Shareholders would have seen a few years of reduced payments in this time.

In terms of its peers, Air China produces a yield of 1.5%, which is on the low-side for Airlines stocks.

Next Steps:

Taking all the above into account, Air China is a complicated pick for dividend investors given that there are a couple of positive things about it as well as negative. But if you are not exclusively a dividend investor, the stock could still be an interesting investment opportunity. Given that this is purely a dividend analysis, you should always research extensively before deciding whether or not a stock is an appropriate investment for you. I always recommend analysing the company’s fundamentals and underlying business before making an investment decision. Below, I’ve compiled three pertinent factors you should further research:

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for 753’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for 753’s outlook.
  2. Valuation: What is 753 worth today? Even if the stock is a cash cow, it’s not worth an infinite price. The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether 753 is currently mispriced by the market.
  3. Dividend Rockstars: Are there better dividend payers with stronger fundamentals out there? Check out our free list of these great stocks here.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. 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. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.