Stock Analysis

Should You Or Shouldn't You: A Dividend Analysis on Ooredoo Q.P.S.C. (DSM:ORDS)

DSM:ORDS
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Dividend paying stocks like Ooredoo Q.P.S.C. (DSM:ORDS) 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 2.9% yield is nothing to get excited about, but investors probably think the long payment history suggests Ooredoo Q.P.S.C has some staying power. Before you buy any stock for its dividend however, you should always remember Warren Buffett's two rules: 1) Don't lose money, and 2) Remember rule #1. We'll run through some checks below to help with this.

Click the interactive chart for our full dividend analysis

historic-dividend
DSM:ORDS Historic Dividend February 5th 2021

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. Ooredoo Q.P.S.C paid out 42% of its profit as dividends, over the trailing twelve month period. This is a medium payout level that leaves enough capital in the business to fund opportunities that might arise, while also rewarding shareholders. Plus, there is room to increase the payout ratio over time.

Another important check we do is to see if the free cash flow generated is sufficient to pay the dividend. Ooredoo Q.P.S.C paid out 10% of its free cash flow as dividends last year, which is conservative and suggests the dividend is sustainable. It's positive to see that Ooredoo Q.P.S.C's dividend is covered by both profits and cash flow, since this is generally a sign that the dividend is sustainable, and a lower payout ratio usually suggests a greater margin of safety before the dividend gets cut.

Consider getting our latest analysis on Ooredoo Q.P.S.C's financial position here.

Dividend Volatility

One of the major risks of relying on dividend income, is the potential for a company to struggle financially and cut its dividend. Not only is your income cut, but the value of your investment declines as well - nasty. Ooredoo Q.P.S.C has been paying dividends for a long time, but for the purpose of this analysis, we only examine the past 10 years of payments. Its dividend payments have declined on at least one occasion over the past 10 years. During the past 10-year period, the first annual payment was ر.ق0.4 in 2011, compared to ر.ق0.3 last year. The dividend has shrunk at around 5.7% a year during that period. Ooredoo Q.P.S.C's dividend has been cut sharply at least once, so it hasn't fallen by 5.7% every year, but this is a decent approximation of the long term change.

A shrinking dividend over a 10-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. While there may be fluctuations in the past , Ooredoo Q.P.S.C's earnings per share have basically not grown from where they were five years ago. Flat earnings per share are acceptable for a time, but over the long term, the purchasing power of the company's dividends could be eroded by inflation. A payout ratio below 50% leaves ample room to reinvest in the business, and provides finanical flexibility. However, earnings per share are unfortunately not growing much. Might this suggest that the company should pay a higher dividend instead?

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 like that the company's dividend payments appear well covered, although the retained capital also needs to be effectively reinvested. Second, earnings have been essentially flat, and its history of dividend payments is chequered - having cut its dividend at least once in the past. Overall we think Ooredoo Q.P.S.C is an interesting dividend stock, although it could be better.

Investors generally tend to favour companies with a consistent, stable dividend policy as opposed to those operating an irregular one. At the same time, there are other factors our readers should be conscious of before pouring capital into a stock. Just as an example, we've come accross 2 warning signs for Ooredoo Q.P.S.C you should be aware of, and 1 of them is potentially serious.

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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