Stock Analysis

Are Dividend Investors Getting More Than They Bargained For With Hasbro, Inc.'s (NASDAQ:HAS) Dividend?

NasdaqGS:HAS
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Could Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ:HAS) 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. 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.

A slim 2.9% yield is hard to get excited about, but the long payment history is respectable. At the right price, or with strong growth opportunities, Hasbro could have potential. Some simple research can reduce the risk of buying Hasbro for its dividend - read on to learn more.

Click the interactive chart for our full dividend analysis

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NasdaqGS:HAS Historic Dividend December 26th 2020

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. So we need to form a view on if a company's dividend is sustainable, relative to its net profit after tax. In the last year, Hasbro paid out 96% of its profit as dividends. Its payout ratio is quite high, and the dividend is not well covered by earnings. If earnings are growing or the company has a large cash balance, this might be sustainable - still, we think it is a concern.

Another important check we do is to see if the free cash flow generated is sufficient to pay the dividend. Hasbro paid out 59% of its cash flow as dividends last year, which is within a reasonable range for the average corporation. While the dividend was not well covered by profits, at least they were covered by free cash flow. Still, if the company continues paying out such a high percentage of its profits, the dividend could be at risk if business turns sour.

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

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. Hasbro 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$1.0 in 2010, compared to US$2.7 last year. This works out to be a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 11% a year over that time.

Dividends have been growing pretty quickly, and even more impressively, they haven't experienced any notable falls during this period.

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 Hasbro's EPS have declined at around 4.5% a year. If earnings continue to decline, the dividend may come under pressure. Every investor should make an assessment of whether the company is taking steps to stabilise the situation.

We'd also point out that Hasbro issued a meaningful number of new shares in the past year. Trying to grow the dividend when issuing new shares reminds us of the ancient Greek tale of Sisyphus - perpetually pushing a boulder uphill. Companies that consistently issue new shares are often suboptimal from a dividend perspective.

Conclusion

To summarise, shareholders should always check that Hasbro'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. Second, earnings per share have actually shrunk, but at least the dividends have been relatively stable. Overall, Hasbro falls short in several key areas here. Unless the investor has strong grounds for an alternative conclusion, we find it hard to get interested in a dividend stock with these characteristics.

It's important to note that companies having a consistent dividend policy will generate greater investor confidence than those having an erratic one. However, there are other things to consider for investors when analysing stock performance. To that end, Hasbro has 3 warning signs (and 1 which can't be ignored) we think you should know about.

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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