Stock Analysis

Should You Buy BMIT Technologies p.l.c. (MTSE:BMIT) For Its Dividend?

MTSE:BMIT
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Today we'll take a closer look at BMIT Technologies p.l.c. (MTSE:BMIT) from a dividend investor's perspective. Owning a strong business and reinvesting the dividends is widely seen as an attractive way of growing your wealth. Unfortunately, it's common for investors to be enticed in by the seemingly attractive yield, and lose money when the company has to cut its dividend payments.

BMIT Technologies has only been paying a dividend for a year or so, so investors might be curious about its 5.5% yield. Some simple analysis can offer a lot of insights when buying a company for its dividend, and we'll go through this below.

Explore this interactive chart for our latest analysis on BMIT Technologies!

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MTSE:BMIT Historic Dividend April 6th 2021

Payout ratios

Dividends are typically paid from company earnings. If a company pays more in dividends than it earned, then the dividend might become unsustainable - hardly an ideal situation. So we need to form a view on if a company's dividend is sustainable, relative to its net profit after tax. BMIT Technologies paid out 125% of its profit as dividends, over the trailing twelve month period. Unless there are extenuating circumstances, from the perspective of an investor who hopes to own the company for many years, a payout ratio of above 100% is definitely a concern.

In addition to comparing dividends against profits, we should inspect whether the company generated enough cash to pay its dividend. BMIT Technologies paid out 310% of its free cash last year. Cash flows can be lumpy, but this dividend was not well covered by cash flow. Paying out more than 100% of your free cash flow in dividends is generally not a long-term, sustainable state of affairs, so we think shareholders should watch this metric closely. Cash is slightly more important than profit from a dividend perspective, but given BMIT Technologies' payments were not well covered by either earnings or cash flow, we are concerned about the sustainability of this dividend.

With a strong net cash balance, BMIT Technologies investors may not have much to worry about in the near term from a dividend perspective.

Consider getting our latest analysis on BMIT Technologies' financial position here.

Dividend Volatility

From the perspective of an income investor who wants to earn dividends for many years, there is not much point buying a stock if its dividend is regularly cut or is not reliable. With a payment history of less than 2 years, we think it's a bit too soon to think about living on the income from its dividend. This works out to be a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 46% a year over that time.

BMIT Technologies has been growing its dividend quite rapidly, which is exciting. However, the short payment history makes us question whether this performance will persist across a full market cycle.

Dividend Growth Potential

The other half of the dividend investing equation is evaluating whether earnings per share (EPS) are growing. Growing EPS can help maintain or increase the purchasing power of the dividend over the long run. BMIT Technologies' earnings per share have shrunk at 10% a year over the past five years. 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.

Conclusion

When we look at a dividend stock, we need to form a judgement on whether the dividend will grow, if the company is able to maintain it in a wide range of economic circumstances, and if the dividend payout is sustainable. BMIT Technologies paid out almost all of its cash flow and profit as dividends, leaving little to reinvest in the business. Earnings per share have been falling, and the company has a relatively short dividend history - shorter than we like, anyway. Using these criteria, BMIT Technologies looks quite suboptimal from a dividend investment perspective.

Market movements attest to how highly valued a consistent dividend policy is compared to one which is more unpredictable. However, there are other things to consider for investors when analysing stock performance. To that end, BMIT Technologies has 2 warning signs (and 1 which shouldn't be ignored) we think you should know about.

Looking for more high-yielding dividend ideas? Try our curated list of dividend stocks with a yield above 3%.

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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.
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