Stock Analysis

Read This Before Buying Oceania Healthcare Limited (NZSE:OCA) For Its Dividend

NZSE:OCA
Source: Shutterstock

Is Oceania Healthcare Limited (NZSE:OCA) 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.

Some readers mightn't know much about Oceania Healthcare's 2.5% dividend, as it has only been paying distributions for the last three years. A low dividend might not be a bad thing, if the company is reinvesting heavily and growing its sales and profits. 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 Oceania Healthcare!

historic-dividend
NZSE:OCA Historic Dividend December 27th 2020

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. So we need to form a view on if a company's dividend is sustainable, relative to its net profit after tax. While Oceania Healthcare pays a dividend, it reported a loss over the last year. When a company is loss-making, we next need to check to see if its cash flows can support the dividend.

Oceania Healthcare paid out a conservative 38% of its free cash flow as dividends last year.

Consider getting our latest analysis on Oceania Healthcare's 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. This company's dividend has been unstable, and with a relatively short history, we think it's a little soon to draw strong conclusions about its long term dividend potential. During the past three-year period, the first annual payment was NZ$0.04 in 2017, compared to NZ$0.04 last year. The dividend has shrunk at around 5.9% a year during that period. Oceania Healthcare's dividend hasn't shrunk linearly at 5.9% per annum, but the CAGR is a useful estimate of the historical rate of change.

A shrinking dividend over a three-year period is not ideal, and we'd be concerned about investing in a dividend stock that lacks a solid record of growing dividends per share.

Dividend Growth Potential

Given that dividend payments have been shrinking like a glacier in a warming world, we need to check if there are some bright spots on the horizon. Over the past five years, it looks as though Oceania Healthcare's EPS have declined at around 18% 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. We're a bit uncomfortable with the company paying a dividend while being loss-making, although at least the dividend was covered by free cash flow. Second, earnings per share have been in decline, and its dividend has been cut at least once in the past. With this information in mind, we think Oceania Healthcare may not be an ideal dividend stock.

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. As an example, we've identified 4 warning signs for Oceania Healthcare that you should be aware of before investing.

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

When trading Oceania Healthcare or any other investment, use the platform considered by many to be the Professional's Gateway to the Worlds Market, Interactive Brokers. You get the lowest-cost* trading on stocks, options, futures, forex, bonds and funds worldwide from a single integrated account. Promoted


Valuation is complex, but we're helping make it simple.

Find out whether Oceania Healthcare is potentially over or undervalued by checking out our comprehensive analysis, which includes fair value estimates, risks and warnings, dividends, insider transactions and financial health.

View the Free Analysis

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.