Stock Analysis

Does Primoris Services Corporation (NASDAQ:PRIM) Have A Place In Your Dividend Portfolio?

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NasdaqGS:PRIM
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Today we'll take a closer look at Primoris Services Corporation (NASDAQ:PRIM) 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. 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.

While Primoris Services's 0.8% dividend yield is not the highest, we think its lengthy payment history is quite interesting. The company also returned around 4.0% of its market capitalisation to shareholders in the form of stock buybacks over the past year. That said, the recent jump in the share price will make Primoris Services's dividend yield look smaller, even though the company prospects could be improving. When buying stocks for their dividends, you should always run through the checks below, to see if the dividend looks sustainable.

Explore this interactive chart for our latest analysis on Primoris Services!

historic-dividend
NasdaqGS:PRIM Historic Dividend February 8th 2021

Payout ratios

Dividends are typically paid from company earnings. If a company pays more in dividends than it earned, 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 12% of Primoris Services' profits were paid out as dividends in the last 12 months. With a low payout ratio, it looks like the dividend is comprehensively covered by earnings.

We also measure dividends paid against a company's levered free cash flow, to see if enough cash was generated to cover the dividend. Primoris Services' cash payout ratio last year was 4.2%. Cash flows are typically lumpy, but this looks like an appropriately conservative payout. 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.

We update our data on Primoris Services every 24 hours, so you can always get our latest analysis of its financial health, 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. Primoris Services has been paying dividends for a long time, but for the purpose of this analysis, we only examine the past 10 years of payments. During this period the dividend has been stable, which could imply the business could have relatively consistent earnings power. During the past 10-year period, the first annual payment was US$0.1 in 2011, compared to US$0.2 last year. This works out to be a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 9.1% a year over that time.

Businesses that can grow their dividends at a decent rate and maintain a stable payout can generate substantial wealth for shareholders over the long term.

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. It's good to see Primoris Services has been growing its earnings per share at 26% a year over the past five years. Earnings per share have grown rapidly, and the company is retaining a majority of its earnings. We think this is ideal from an investment perspective, if the company is able to reinvest these earnings effectively.

Conclusion

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. Firstly, we like that Primoris Services has low and conservative payout ratios. We like that it has been delivering solid improvement in its earnings per share, and relatively consistent dividend payments. Primoris Services has met all of our criteria, including having strong cash flow that covers the dividend. We definitely think it would be worthwhile looking closer.

Companies possessing a stable dividend policy will likely enjoy greater investor interest than those suffering from a more inconsistent approach. At the same time, there are other factors our readers should be conscious of before pouring capital into a stock. As an example, we've identified 3 warning signs for Primoris Services that you should be aware of before investing.

Looking for more high-yielding dividend ideas? Try our curated list of dividend stocks with a yield above 3%.

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What are the risks and opportunities for Primoris Services?

Primoris Services Corporation, a specialty contractor company, provides a range of construction, fabrication, maintenance, replacement, and engineering services in the United States and Canada.

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Rewards

  • Price-To-Earnings ratio (11.5x) is below the US market (15.5x)

  • Earnings are forecast to grow 12.8% per year

  • Earnings have grown 14.3% per year over the past 5 years

Risks

  • Debt is not well covered by operating cash flow

  • Significant insider selling over the past 3 months

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