Stock Analysis

Does HRnetGroup Limited (SGX:CHZ) Have A Place In Your Dividend Portfolio?

SGX:CHZ
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Today we'll take a closer look at HRnetGroup Limited (SGX:CHZ) from a dividend investor's perspective. Owning a strong business and reinvesting the dividends is widely seen as an attractive way of growing your wealth. Yet sometimes, investors buy a popular dividend stock because of its yield, and then lose money if the company's dividend doesn't live up to expectations.

In this case, HRnetGroup pays a decent-sized 3.8% dividend yield, and has been distributing cash to shareholders for the past three years. A 3.8% yield does look good. Could the short payment history hint at future dividend growth? Some simple research can reduce the risk of buying HRnetGroup for its dividend - read on to learn more.

Click the interactive chart for our full dividend analysis

historic-dividend
SGX:CHZ Historic Dividend April 2nd 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. Looking at the data, we can see that 54% of HRnetGroup's profits were paid out as dividends in the last 12 months. A payout ratio above 50% generally implies a business is reaching maturity, although it is still possible to reinvest in the business or increase the dividend over time.

Another important check we do is to see if the free cash flow generated is sufficient to pay the dividend. HRnetGroup's cash payout ratio in the last year was 27%, which suggests dividends were well covered by cash generated by the business. It's encouraging to see that the dividend is covered by both profit and cash flow. This generally suggests the dividend is sustainable, as long as earnings don't drop precipitously.

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

Remember, you can always get a snapshot of HRnetGroup's latest financial position, by checking our visualisation of its financial health.

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. The company has been paying a stable dividend for a few years now, but we'd like to see more evidence of consistency over a longer period. During the past three-year period, the first annual payment was S$0.02 in 2018, compared to S$0.03 last year. Dividends per share have grown at approximately 2.8% per year over this time.

We like that the dividend hasn't been shrinking. However we're conscious that the company hasn't got an overly long track record of dividend payments yet, which makes us wary of relying on its dividend income.

Dividend Growth Potential

While dividend payments have been relatively reliable, it would also be nice if earnings per share (EPS) were growing, as this is essential to maintaining the dividend's purchasing power over the long term. While there may be fluctuations in the past , HRnetGroup'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.

Conclusion

To summarise, shareholders should always check that HRnetGroup's dividends are affordable, that its dividend payments are relatively stable, and that it has decent prospects for growing its earnings and dividend. First, we think HRnetGroup has an acceptable payout ratio and its dividend is well covered by cashflow. Second, earnings per share have been in decline, and the dividend history is shorter than we'd like. In sum, we find it hard to get excited about HRnetGroup from a dividend perspective. It's not that we think it's a bad business; just that there are other companies that perform better on these criteria.

Companies possessing a stable dividend policy will likely enjoy greater investor interest than those suffering from a more inconsistent approach. However, there are other things to consider for investors when analysing stock performance. Taking the debate a bit further, we've identified 2 warning signs for HRnetGroup that investors need to be conscious of moving forward.

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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