Could TCI Co., Ltd. (GTSM:8436) be an attractive dividend share to own for the long haul? Investors are often drawn to strong companies with the idea of reinvesting the 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.
With a nine-year payment history and a 3.7% yield, many investors probably find TCI intriguing. It sure looks interesting on these metrics - but there's always more to the story. The company also bought back stock equivalent to around 2.3% of market capitalisation this year. Some simple research can reduce the risk of buying TCI for its dividend - read on to learn more.
Companies (usually) pay dividends out of their earnings. If a company is paying more than it earns, the dividend might have to be cut. 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. TCI paid out 57% of its profit as dividends, over the trailing twelve month period. This is a healthy payout ratio, and while it does limit the amount of earnings that can be reinvested in the business, there is also some room to lift the payout ratio over time.
We also measure dividends paid against a company's levered free cash flow, to see if enough cash was generated to cover the dividend. The company paid out 56% of its free cash flow, which is not bad per se, but does start to limit the amount of cash TCI has available to meet other needs. It's positive to see that TCI'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.
While the above analysis focuses on dividends relative to a company's earnings, we do note TCI's strong net cash position, which will let it pay larger dividends for a time, should it choose.
We update our data on TCI every 24 hours, so you can always get our latest analysis of its financial health, here.
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. Looking at the last decade of data, we can see that TCI paid its first dividend at least nine years ago. Its dividend has not fluctuated much that time, which we like, but we're conscious that the company might not yet have a track record of maintaining dividends in all economic conditions. During the past nine-year period, the first annual payment was NT$0.08 in 2012, compared to NT$8.9 last year. This works out to be a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 68% a year over that time.
The dividend has been growing pretty quickly, which could be enough to get us interested even though the dividend history is relatively short. Further research may be warranted.
Dividend Growth Potential
Dividend payments have been consistent over the past few years, but we should always check if earnings per share (EPS) are growing, as this will help maintain the purchasing power of the dividend. It's good to see TCI has been growing its earnings per share at 46% a year over the past five years. Earnings per share are sharply up, but we wonder if paying out more than half its earnings (leaving less for reinvestment) is an implicit signal that TCI's growth will be slower in the future.
When we look at a dividend stock, we need to form a judgement on whether the dividend will grow, if the company is able to maintain it in a wide range of economic circumstances, and if the dividend payout is sustainable. First, we think TCI is paying out an acceptable percentage of its cashflow and profit. We were also glad to see it growing earnings, although its dividend history is not as long as we'd like. While we're not hugely bearish on it, overall we think there are potentially better dividend stocks than TCI out there.
Market movements attest to how highly valued a consistent dividend policy is compared to one which is more unpredictable. At the same time, there are other factors our readers should be conscious of before pouring capital into a stock. For example, we've picked out 1 warning sign for TCI that investors should know about before committing capital to this stock.
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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