Does D.R. Horton, Inc. (NYSE:DHI) Have A Place In Your Portfolio?

Is D.R. Horton, Inc. (NYSE:DHI) a good dividend stock? How would you know? A dividend paying company with growing earnings can be rewarding in the long term. Unfortunately, one common occurrence with dividend companies is for investors to be enticed in by the seemingly attractive yield, and lose money when the company has to cut its dividend payments.

While D.R. Horton’s 1.3% dividend yield is not the highest, we think its lengthy payment history is quite interesting. The company also bought back stock equivalent to around 1.2% of market capitalisation this year. Before you buy any stock for its dividend however, you should always remember Warren Buffett’s two rules: 1) Don’t lose money, and 2) Remember rule #1. We’ll run through some checks below to help with this.

Click the interactive chart for our full dividend analysis
NYSE:DHI Historical Dividend Yield, April 16th 2019
NYSE:DHI Historical Dividend Yield, April 16th 2019

Payout ratios

Companies (usually) pay dividends out of their earnings. If a company is paying more than it earns, the dividend might have to be cut. So we need to be form a view on if a company’s dividend is sustainable, relative to its net profit after tax. Looking at the data, we can see that 13% of D.R. Horton’s profits were paid out as dividends in the last 12 months. We like this low payout ratio, because it implies the dividend is well covered and leaves ample opportunity for reinvestment.

In addition to comparing dividends against profits, we should inspect whether the company generated enough cash to pay its dividend. With a cash payout ratio of 155%, D.R. Horton’s dividend payments are poorly covered by cash flow. Paying out more than 100% of your free cash flow in dividends is generally not a long-term, sustainable state of affairs, so we think shareholders should watch this metric closely.

We update our data on D.R. Horton 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. For the purpose of this article, we only scrutinise the last decade of D.R. Horton’s dividend payments. The dividend has been stable over the past 10 years, which is great. We think this could suggest some resilience to the business and its dividends. During the past ten-year period, the first annual payment was US$0.15 in 2009, compared to US$0.60 last year. Dividends per share have grown at approximately 15% per year over this time.

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. Strong earnings per share (EPS) growth might encourage our interest in the company despite fluctuating dividends, which is why it’s great to see D.R. Horton has grown its earnings per share at 24% per annum over the past five years. The company is only paying out a fraction of its earnings as dividends, and in the past been able to use the retained earnings to grow its profits rapidly – an ideal combination.

Conclusion

To summarise, shareholders should always check that D.R. Horton’s dividends are affordable, that its dividend payments are relatively stable, and that it has decent prospects for growing its earnings and dividend. First, we like D.R. Horton’s low dividend payout ratio, although we’re a bit concerned that it paid out a substantially higher percentage of its free cash flow. Next, growing earnings per share and steady dividend payments is a great combination. Overall we think D.R. Horton is an interesting dividend stock, although it could be better.

Earnings growth generally bodes well for the future value of company dividend payments. See if the 15 D.R. Horton analysts we track are forecasting continued growth with our free report on analyst estimates for the company.

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

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.