What To Know Before Buying Melco Resorts & Entertainment Limited (NASDAQ:MLCO) For Its Dividend

A large part of investment returns can be generated by dividend-paying stock given their role in compounding returns over time. Historically, Melco Resorts & Entertainment Limited (NASDAQ:MLCO) has paid dividends to shareholders, and these days it yields 2.9%. Let’s dig deeper into whether Melco Resorts & Entertainment should have a place in your portfolio.

See our latest analysis for Melco Resorts & Entertainment

Here’s how I find good dividend stocks

If you are a dividend investor, you should always assess these five key metrics:

  • Does it pay an annual yield higher than 75% of dividend payers?
  • Has it consistently paid a stable dividend without missing a payment or drastically cutting payout?
  • Has dividend per share risen in the past couple of years?
  • Is its earnings sufficient to payout dividend at the current rate?
  • Will it have the ability to keep paying its dividends going forward?
NasdaqGS:MLCO Historical Dividend Yield, March 24th 2019
NasdaqGS:MLCO Historical Dividend Yield, March 24th 2019

Does Melco Resorts & Entertainment pass our checks?

The company currently pays out 80% of its earnings as a dividend, according to its trailing twelve-month data, which means that the dividend is covered by earnings. However, going forward, analysts expect MLCO’s payout to fall to 48% of its earnings. Assuming a constant share price, this equates to a dividend yield of 3.2%. However, EPS should increase to $0.95, meaning that the lower payout ratio does not necessarily implicate a lower dividend payment.

When considering the sustainability of dividends, it is also worth checking the cash flow of a company. A business with strong cash flow can sustain a higher divided payout ratio than a company with weak cash flow.

Reliablity is an important factor for dividend stocks, particularly for income investors who want a strong track record of payment and a positive outlook for future payout. The reality is that it is too early to consider Melco Resorts & Entertainment as a dividend investment. It has only been consistently paying dividends for 5 years, however, standard practice for reliable payers is to look for a 10-year minimum track record.

Compared to its peers, Melco Resorts & Entertainment generates a yield of 2.9%, which is high for Hospitality stocks but still below the market’s top dividend payers.

Next Steps:

If Melco Resorts & Entertainment is in your portfolio for cash-generating reasons, there may be better alternatives out there. But if you are not exclusively a dividend investor, the stock could still be an interesting investment opportunity. Given that this is purely a dividend analysis, I urge potential investors to try and get a good understanding of the underlying business and its fundamentals before deciding on an investment. There are three fundamental factors you should further research:

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for MLCO’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for MLCO’s outlook.
  2. Valuation: What is MLCO 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 MLCO 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.