Freightways (NZSE:FRE) Is Increasing Its Dividend To NZ$0.21

Simply Wall St
February 23, 2022
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Freightways Limited's (NZSE:FRE) dividend will be increasing to NZ$0.21 on 1st of April. This takes the dividend yield from 3.0% to 3.5%, which shareholders will be pleased with.

See our latest analysis for Freightways

Freightways' Dividend Is Well Covered By Earnings

A big dividend yield for a few years doesn't mean much if it can't be sustained. The last payment made up 83% of earnings, but cash flows were much higher. This leaves plenty of cash for reinvestment into the business.

Looking forward, earnings per share is forecast to rise by 22.5% over the next year. Assuming the dividend continues along the course it has been charting recently, our estimates show the payout ratio being which brings it into quite a comfortable range.

NZSE:FRE Historic Dividend February 23rd 2022

Dividend Volatility

The company has a long dividend track record, but it doesn't look great with cuts in the past. Since 2012, the dividend has gone from NZ$0.14 to NZ$0.36. This implies that the company grew its distributions at a yearly rate of about 9.7% over that duration. We like to see dividends have grown at a reasonable rate, but with at least one substantial cut in the payments, we're not certain this dividend stock would be ideal for someone intending to live on the income.

Dividend Growth Potential Is Shaky

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. Freightways' EPS has fallen by approximately 100% per year during the past five years. Dividend payments are likely to come under some pressure unless EPS can pull out of the nosedive it is in. However, the next year is actually looking up, with earnings set to rise. We would just wait until it becomes a pattern before getting too excited.

Our Thoughts On Freightways' Dividend

In summary, while it's always good to see the dividend being raised, we don't think Freightways' payments are rock solid. In the past, the payments have been unstable, but over the short term the dividend could be reliable, with the company generating enough cash to cover it. We don't think Freightways is a great stock to add to your portfolio if income is your focus.

It's important to note that companies having a consistent dividend policy will generate greater investor confidence than those having an erratic one. However, there are other things to consider for investors when analysing stock performance. For example, we've picked out 2 warning signs for Freightways that investors should know about before committing capital to this stock. Is Freightways not quite the opportunity you were looking for? Why not check out our selection of top dividend stocks.

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