Is KAR Auction Services, Inc. (NYSE:KAR) An Attractive Dividend Stock?

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Dividends play a key role in compounding returns over time and can form a large part of our portfolio return. Historically, KAR Auction Services, Inc. (NYSE:KAR) has paid a dividend to shareholders. It currently yields 2.9%. Let’s dig deeper into whether KAR Auction Services should have a place in your portfolio.

See our latest analysis for KAR Auction Services

5 checks you should use to assess a dividend stock

When assessing a stock as a potential addition to my dividend Portfolio, I look at these five areas:

  • Is it paying an annual yield above 75% of dividend payers?
  • Has it paid dividend every year without dramatically reducing payout in the past?
  • Has dividend per share risen in the past couple of years?
  • Is its earnings sufficient to payout dividend at the current rate?
  • Will the company be able to keep paying dividend based on the future earnings growth?
NYSE:KAR Historical Dividend Yield, February 22nd 2019
NYSE:KAR Historical Dividend Yield, February 22nd 2019

Does KAR Auction Services pass our checks?

KAR Auction Services has a trailing twelve-month payout ratio of 57%, meaning the dividend is sufficiently covered by earnings. However, going forward, analysts expect KAR’s payout to fall to 44% of its earnings. Assuming a constant share price, this equates to a dividend yield of 2.9%. However, EPS should increase to $2.52, meaning that the lower payout ratio does not necessarily implicate a lower dividend payment.

When assessing the forecast sustainability of a dividend it is also worth considering the cash flow of the business. Cash flow is important because companies with strong cash flow can usually sustain higher payout ratios.

If dividend is a key criteria in your investment consideration, then you need to make sure the dividend stock you’re eyeing out is reliable in its payments. Unfortunately, it is really too early to view KAR Auction Services as a dividend investment. It has only been consistently paying dividends for 6 years, however, standard practice for reliable payers is to look for a 10-year minimum track record.

Compared to its peers, KAR Auction Services has a yield of 2.9%, which is high for Commercial Services stocks but still below the market’s top dividend payers.

Next Steps:

If you are building an income portfolio, then KAR Auction Services is a complicated choice since it has some positive aspects as well as negative ones. However, if you are not strictly just a dividend investor, the stock could still offer some interesting investment opportunities. Given that this is purely a dividend analysis, you should always research extensively before deciding whether or not a stock is an appropriate investment for you. I always recommend analysing the company’s fundamentals and underlying business before making an investment decision. Below, I’ve compiled three key aspects you should look at:

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for KAR’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for KAR’s outlook.
  2. Valuation: What is KAR worth today? Even if the stock is a cash cow, it’s not worth an infinite price. The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether KAR is currently mispriced by the market.
  3. Dividend Rockstars: Are there better dividend payers with stronger fundamentals out there? Check out our free list of these great stocks here.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.

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. Thank you for reading.