Do Investors Have Good Reason To Be Wary Of Aurskog Sparebank’s (OB:AURG) 5.6% Dividend Yield?

Dividend paying stocks like Aurskog Sparebank (OB:AURG) tend to be popular with investors, and for good reason – some research suggests a significant amount of all stock market returns come from reinvested dividends. 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.

A high yield and a long history of paying dividends is an appealing combination for Aurskogrebank. We’d guess that plenty of investors have purchased it for the income. Some simple research can reduce the risk of buying Aurskogrebank for its dividend – read on to learn more.

Explore this interactive chart for our latest analysis on Aurskogrebank!

OB:AURG Historical Dividend Yield, August 29th 2019
OB:AURG Historical Dividend Yield, August 29th 2019

Payout ratios

Companies (usually) pay dividends out of their earnings. If a company is paying more than it earns, the dividend might have to be cut. As a result, we should always investigate whether a company can afford its dividend, measured as a percentage of a company’s net income after tax. In the last year, Aurskogrebank paid out 75% of its profit as dividends. Paying out a majority of its earnings limits the amount that can be reinvested in the business. This may indicate a commitment to paying a dividend, or a dearth of investment opportunities.

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. For the purpose of this article, we only scrutinise the last decade of Aurskogrebank’s dividend payments. Its dividend payments have fallen by 20% or more on at least one occasion over the past ten years. During the past ten-year period, the first annual payment was kr13.00 in 2009, compared to kr11.00 last year. This works out to be a decline of approximately 1.7% per year over that time. Aurskogrebank’s dividend hasn’t shrunk linearly at 1.7% per annum, but the CAGR is a useful estimate of the historical rate of change.

We struggle to make a case for buying Aurskogrebank for its dividend, given that payments have shrunk over the past ten years.

Dividend Growth Potential

Given that the dividend has been cut in the past, we need to check if earnings are growing and if that might lead to stronger dividends in the future. Over the past five years, it looks as though Aurskogrebank’s EPS have declined at around 19% 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.

Conclusion

Dividend investors should always want to know if a) a company’s dividends are affordable, b) if there is a track record of consistent payments, and c) if the dividend is capable of growing. First, we think Aurskogrebank has an acceptable payout ratio. Second, earnings per share have been essentially flat, and its history of dividend payments is chequered – having cut its dividend at least once in the past. To conclude, we’ve spotted a couple of potential concerns with Aurskogrebank that may make it less than ideal candidate for dividend investors.

You can also discover whether shareholders are aligned with insider interests by checking our visualisation of insider shareholdings and trades in Aurskogrebank stock.

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

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.