Do Investors Have Good Reason To Be Wary Of DingZing Advanced Materials Inc.’s (GTSM:6585) 3.2% Dividend Yield?

Is DingZing Advanced Materials Inc. (GTSM:6585) 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.

DingZing Advanced Materials yields a solid 3.2%, although it has only been paying for three years. It’s certainly an attractive yield, but readers are likely curious about its staying power. When buying stocks for their dividends, you should always run through the checks below, to see if the dividend looks sustainable.

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GTSM:6585 Historical Dividend Yield, February 27th 2020
GTSM:6585 Historical Dividend Yield, February 27th 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. So we need to form a view on if a company’s dividend is sustainable, relative to its net profit after tax. DingZing Advanced Materials paid out 106% of its profit as dividends, over the trailing twelve month period. Unless there are extenuating circumstances, from the perspective of an investor who hopes to own the company for many years, a payout ratio of above 100% is definitely a concern.

In addition to comparing dividends against profits, we should inspect whether the company generated enough cash to pay its dividend. The company paid out 58% of its free cash flow, which is not bad per se, but does start to limit the amount of cash DingZing Advanced Materials has available to meet other needs. It’s good to see that while DingZing Advanced Materials’s dividends were not covered by profits, at least they are affordable from a cash perspective. 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.

Is DingZing Advanced Materials’s Balance Sheet Risky?

As DingZing Advanced Materials’s dividend was not well covered by earnings, we need to check its balance sheet for signs of financial distress. A quick check of its financial situation can be done with two ratios: net debt divided by EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation), and net interest cover. Net debt to EBITDA measures total debt load relative to company earnings (lower = less debt), while net interest cover measures the ability to pay interest on the debt (higher = greater ability to pay interest costs). DingZing Advanced Materials has net debt of 1.61 times its EBITDA, which is generally an okay level of debt for most companies.

Net interest cover can be calculated by dividing earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) by the company’s net interest expense. Net interest cover of 11.53 times its interest expense appears reasonable for DingZing Advanced Materials, although we’re conscious that even high interest cover doesn’t make a company bulletproof.

We update our data on DingZing Advanced Materials 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. The dividend has not fluctuated much, but with a relatively short payment history, we can’t be sure this is sustainable across a full market cycle. Its most recent annual dividend was NT$1.50 per share, effectively flat on its first payment three years ago.

It’s good to see at least some dividend growth. Yet with a relatively short dividend paying history, we wouldn’t want to depend on this dividend too heavily.

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. Over the past five years, it looks as though DingZing Advanced Materials’s EPS have declined at around 25% a year. A sharp decline in earnings per share is not great from from a dividend perspective, as even conservative payout ratios can come under pressure if earnings fall far enough.

We’d also point out that DingZing Advanced Materials issued a meaningful number of new shares in the past year. Regularly issuing new shares can be detrimental – it’s hard to grow dividends per share when new shares are regularly being created.

Conclusion

To summarise, shareholders should always check that DingZing Advanced Materials’s dividends are affordable, that its dividend payments are relatively stable, and that it has decent prospects for growing its earnings and dividend. We’re a bit uncomfortable with its high payout ratio, although at least the dividend was covered by free cash flow. Earnings per share are down, and to our mind DingZing Advanced Materials has not been paying a dividend long enough to demonstrate its resilience across economic cycles. There are a few too many issues for us to get comfortable with DingZing Advanced Materials from a dividend perspective. Businesses can change, but we would struggle to identify why an investor should rely on this stock for their income.

See if management have their own wealth at stake, by checking insider shareholdings in DingZing Advanced Materials stock.

We have also put together a list of global stocks with a market capitalisation above $1bn and yielding more 3%.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. 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. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned.

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