Is KEPCO Plant Service & Engineering Co.,Ltd. (KRX:051600) a good dividend stock? How can we tell? Dividend paying companies with growing earnings can be highly rewarding in the long term. On the other hand, investors have been known to buy a stock because of its yield, and then lose money if the company's dividend doesn't live up to expectations.
In this case, KEPCO Plant Service & EngineeringLtd likely looks attractive to investors, given its 5.8% dividend yield and a payment history of over ten years. It would not be a surprise to discover that many investors buy it for the dividends. There are a few simple ways to reduce the risks of buying KEPCO Plant Service & EngineeringLtd for its dividend, and we'll go through these below.
Dividends are usually paid out of company earnings. If a company is paying more than it earns, 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. KEPCO Plant Service & EngineeringLtd paid out 99% of its profit as dividends, over the trailing twelve month period. This is quite a high payout ratio that suggests the dividend is not well covered by earnings.
We also measure dividends paid against a company's levered free cash flow, to see if enough cash was generated to cover the dividend. With a cash payout ratio of 384%, KEPCO Plant Service & EngineeringLtd's dividend payments are poorly covered by cash flow. Paying out such a high percentage of cash flow suggests that the dividend was funded from either cash at bank or by borrowing, neither of which is desirable over the long term. Cash is slightly more important than profit from a dividend perspective, but given KEPCO Plant Service & EngineeringLtd's payouts were not well covered by either earnings or cash flow, we would definitely be concerned about the sustainability of this dividend.
With a strong net cash balance, KEPCO Plant Service & EngineeringLtd investors may not have much to worry about in the near term from a dividend perspective.
Remember, you can always get a snapshot of KEPCO Plant Service & EngineeringLtd's latest financial position, by checking our visualisation of its financial health.
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. KEPCO Plant Service & EngineeringLtd has been paying dividends for a long time, but for the purpose of this analysis, we only examine the past 10 years of payments. The dividend has been stable over the past 10 years, which is great. We think this could suggest some resilience to the business and its dividends. During the past 10-year period, the first annual payment was ₩1.1k in 2011, compared to ₩1.9k last year. Dividends per share have grown at approximately 5.7% per year over this time.
Companies like this, growing their dividend at a decent rate, can be very valuable over the long term, if the rate of growth can be maintained.
Dividend Growth Potential
Dividend payments have been consistent over the past few years, but we should always check if earnings per share (EPS) are growing, as this will help maintain the purchasing power of the dividend. Over the past five years, it looks as though KEPCO Plant Service & EngineeringLtd's EPS have declined at around 13% a year. A sharp decline in earnings per share is not great from from a dividend perspective, as even conservative payout ratios can come under pressure if earnings fall far enough.
To summarise, shareholders should always check that KEPCO Plant Service & EngineeringLtd's dividends are affordable, that its dividend payments are relatively stable, and that it has decent prospects for growing its earnings and dividend. It's a concern to see that the company paid out such a high percentage of its earnings and cashflow as dividends. Second, earnings per share have actually shrunk, but at least the dividends have been relatively stable. There are a few too many issues for us to get comfortable with KEPCO Plant Service & EngineeringLtd from a dividend perspective. Businesses can change, but we would struggle to identify why an investor should rely on this stock for their income.
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. Taking the debate a bit further, we've identified 2 warning signs for KEPCO Plant Service & EngineeringLtd that investors need to be conscious of moving forward.
We have also put together a list of global stocks with a market capitalisation above $1bn and yielding more 3%.
If you’re looking to trade a wide range of investments, open an account with the lowest-cost* platform trusted by professionals, Interactive Brokers. Their clients from over 200 countries and territories trade stocks, options, futures, forex, bonds and funds worldwide from a single integrated account. Promoted
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. 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.
*Interactive Brokers Rated Lowest Cost Broker by StockBrokers.com Annual Online Review 2020
Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.