Is Ryder System, Inc. (NYSE:R) An Attractive Dividend Stock?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
January 22, 2021
NYSE:R

Could Ryder System, Inc. (NYSE:R) 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 stock for its dividend and lose money because the share price falls by more than they earned in dividend payments.

With Ryder System yielding 3.3% and having paid a dividend for over 10 years, many investors likely find the company quite interesting. It would not be a surprise to discover that many investors buy it for the dividends. That said, the recent jump in the share price will make Ryder System's dividend yield look smaller, even though the company prospects could be improving. Some simple research can reduce the risk of buying Ryder System for its dividend - read on to learn more.

Click the interactive chart for our full dividend analysis

historic-dividend
NYSE:R Historic Dividend January 22nd 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. Although it reported a loss over the past 12 months, Ryder System currently pays a dividend. When a company is loss-making, we next need to check to see if its cash flows can support the dividend.

Ryder System's cash payout ratio last year was 11%. Cash flows are typically lumpy, but this looks like an appropriately conservative payout.

Consider getting our latest analysis on Ryder System's financial position here.

Dividend Volatility

Before buying a stock for its income, we want to see if the dividends have been stable in the past, and if the company has a track record of maintaining its dividend. Ryder System has been paying dividends for a long time, but for the purpose of this analysis, we only examine the past 10 years of 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 10-year period, the first annual payment was US$1.0 in 2011, compared to US$2.2 last year. This works out to be a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 8.4% a year over that time.

Dividends have grown at a reasonable rate over this period, and without any major cuts in the payment over time, we think this is an attractive combination.

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. Ryder System's earnings per share have shrunk at 23% a year over the past five years. With this kind of significant decline, we always wonder what has changed in the business. Dividends are about stability, and Ryder System's earnings per share, which support the dividend, have been anything but stable.

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. We're a bit uncomfortable with the company paying a dividend while being loss-making, 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. In sum, we find it hard to get excited about Ryder System from a dividend perspective. It's not that we think it's a bad business; just that there are other companies that perform better on these criteria.

Investors generally tend to favour companies with a consistent, stable dividend policy as opposed to those operating an irregular one. However, there are other things to consider for investors when analysing stock performance. Just as an example, we've come accross 3 warning signs for Ryder System you should be aware of, and 1 of them can't be ignored.

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