Are Dividend Investors Making A Mistake With Euro-Tax.pl S.A. (WSE:ETX)?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
September 11, 2020
WSE:ETX
Source: Shutterstock

Is Euro-Tax.pl S.A. (WSE:ETX) a good dividend stock? How can we tell? Dividend paying companies with growing earnings can be highly rewarding in the long term. If you are hoping to live on your dividends, it's important to be more stringent with your investments than the average punter. Regular readers know we like to apply the same approach to each dividend stock, and we hope you'll find our analysis useful.

In this case, Euro-Tax.pl likely looks attractive to investors, given its 9.7% 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 Euro-Tax.pl for its dividend, and we'll go through these below.

Click the interactive chart for our full dividend analysis

historic-dividend
WSE:ETX Historic Dividend September 12th 2020

Payout ratios

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. 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. Looking at the data, we can see that 163% of Euro-Tax.pl's profits were paid out as dividends in the last 12 months. A payout ratio above 100% is definitely an item of concern, unless there are some other circumstances that would justify it.

Another important check we do is to see if the free cash flow generated is sufficient to pay the dividend. Euro-Tax.pl paid out 80% of its cash flow last year. This may be sustainable but it does not leave much of a buffer for unexpected circumstances. It's disappointing to see that the dividend was not covered by profits, but cash is more important from a dividend sustainability perspective, and Euro-Tax.pl fortunately did generate enough cash to fund its dividend. Still, if the company repeatedly paid a dividend greater than its profits, we'd be concerned. Very few companies are able to sustainably pay dividends larger than their reported earnings.

While the above analysis focuses on dividends relative to a company's earnings, we do note Euro-Tax.pl's strong net cash position, which will let it pay larger dividends for a time, should it choose.

We update our data on Euro-Tax.pl every 24 hours, so you can always get our latest analysis of its financial health, 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. For the purpose of this article, we only scrutinise the last decade of Euro-Tax.pl's dividend payments. This dividend has been unstable, which we define as having been cut one or more times over this time. During the past 10-year period, the first annual payment was zł0.2 in 2010, compared to zł0.3 last year. Dividends per share have grown at approximately 4.6% per year over this time. The dividends haven't grown at precisely 4.6% every year, but this is a useful way to average out the historical rate of growth.

We're glad to see the dividend has risen, but with a limited rate of growth and fluctuations in the payments, we don't think this is an attractive combination.

Dividend Growth Potential

With a relatively unstable dividend, it's even more important to evaluate if earnings per share (EPS) are growing - it's not worth taking the risk on a dividend getting cut, unless you might be rewarded with larger dividends in future. Over the past five years, it looks as though Euro-Tax.pl's EPS have declined at around 9.3% a year. A modest decline in earnings per share is not great to see, but it doesn't automatically make a dividend unsustainable. Still, we'd vastly prefer to see EPS growth when researching dividend stocks.

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 not keen on the fact that Euro-Tax.pl paid out such a high percentage of its income, although its cashflow is in better shape. Second, earnings per share have been in decline, and its dividend has been cut at least once in the past. Using these criteria, Euro-Tax.pl looks quite suboptimal from a dividend investment perspective.

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. To that end, Euro-Tax.pl has 4 warning signs (and 2 which are a bit unpleasant) we think you should know about.

We have also put together a list of global stocks with a market capitalisation above $1bn and yielding more 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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