Saudi Chemical Holding Company (TADAWUL:2230) is about to trade ex-dividend in the next three days. The ex-dividend date is one business day before the record date, which is the cut-off date for shareholders to be present on the company's books to be eligible for a dividend payment. The ex-dividend date is important as the process of settlement involves two full business days. So if you miss that date, you would not show up on the company's books on the record date. Meaning, you will need to purchase Saudi Chemical Holding's shares before the 24th of January to receive the dividend, which will be paid on the 3rd of February.
The company's next dividend payment will be ر.س0.50 per share, on the back of last year when the company paid a total of ر.س0.50 to shareholders. Looking at the last 12 months of distributions, Saudi Chemical Holding has a trailing yield of approximately 1.4% on its current stock price of SAR36. Dividends are an important source of income to many shareholders, but the health of the business is crucial to maintaining those dividends. That's why we should always check whether the dividend payments appear sustainable, and if the company is growing.
Dividends are usually paid out of company profits, so if a company pays out more than it earned then its dividend is usually at greater risk of being cut. Its dividend payout ratio is 80% of profit, which means the company is paying out a majority of its earnings. The relatively limited profit reinvestment could slow the rate of future earnings growth. We'd be worried about the risk of a drop in earnings. Yet cash flow is typically more important than profit for assessing dividend sustainability, so we should always check if the company generated enough cash to afford its dividend. Saudi Chemical Holding paid a dividend despite reporting negative free cash flow over the last twelve months. This may be due to heavy investment in the business, but this is still suboptimal from a dividend sustainability perspective.
Have Earnings And Dividends Been Growing?
When earnings decline, dividend companies become much harder to analyse and own safely. Investors love dividends, so if earnings fall and the dividend is reduced, expect a stock to be sold off heavily at the same time. Saudi Chemical Holding's earnings per share have fallen at approximately 27% a year over the previous five years. When earnings per share fall, the maximum amount of dividends that can be paid also falls.
The main way most investors will assess a company's dividend prospects is by checking the historical rate of dividend growth. Saudi Chemical Holding's dividend payments per share have declined at 15% per year on average over the past 10 years, which is uninspiring. It's never nice to see earnings and dividends falling, but at least management has cut the dividend rather than potentially risk the company's health in an attempt to maintain it.
Should investors buy Saudi Chemical Holding for the upcoming dividend? It's definitely not great to see earnings per share shrinking. The company paid out an acceptable percentage of its income, but an uncomfortably high percentage of its cash flow over the past year. It's not the most attractive proposition from a dividend perspective, and we'd probably give this one a miss for now.
Although, if you're still interested in Saudi Chemical Holding and want to know more, you'll find it very useful to know what risks this stock faces. For example - Saudi Chemical Holding has 2 warning signs we think you should be aware of.
A common investment mistake is buying the first interesting stock you see. Here you can find a list of promising dividend stocks with a greater than 2% yield and an upcoming dividend.
This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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.