Italgas S.p.A.'s (BIT:IG) dividend will be increasing to €0.29 on 25th of May. This takes the dividend yield from 4.7% to 4.7%, which shareholders will be pleased with.
Italgas' Payment Has Solid Earnings Coverage
If the payments aren't sustainable, a high yield for a few years won't matter that much. Prior to this announcement, Italgas' dividend was only 66% of earnings, however it was paying out 1,195% of free cash flows. The company might be more focused on returning cash to shareholders, but paying out this much of its cash flow could expose the dividend to being cut in the future.
Over the next year, EPS is forecast to expand by 0.3%. If the dividend continues on this path, the payout ratio could be 64% by next year, which we think can be pretty sustainable going forward.
Italgas Is Still Building Its Track Record
The dividend's track record has been pretty solid, but with only 5 years of history we want to see a few more years of history before making any solid conclusions. Since 2017, the dividend has gone from €0.20 to €0.29. This implies that the company grew its distributions at a yearly rate of about 8.1% over that duration. Investors will likely want to see a longer track record of growth before making decision to add this to their income portfolio.
The Dividend Looks Likely To Grow
Investors who have held shares in the company for the past few years will be happy with the dividend income they have received. We are encouraged to see that Italgas has grown earnings per share at 29% per year over the past five years. The company's earnings per share has grown rapidly in recent years, and it has a good balance between reinvesting and paying dividends to shareholders, so we think that Italgas could prove to be a strong dividend payer.
Overall, this is probably not a great income stock, even though the dividend is being raised at the moment. With cash flows lacking, it is difficult to see how the company can sustain a dividend payment. This company is not in the top tier of income providing stocks.
Investors generally tend to favour companies with a consistent, stable dividend policy as opposed to those operating an irregular one. Meanwhile, despite the importance of dividend payments, they are not the only factors our readers should know when assessing a company. To that end, Italgas has 2 warning signs (and 1 which is significant) we think you should know about. Is Italgas not quite the opportunity you were looking for? Why not check out our selection of top dividend stocks.
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