Sandon Capital Investments Limited (ASX:SNC) has announced that it will be increasing its dividend on the 1st of June to AU$0.028, which will be 10.0% higher than last year. This will take the annual payment from 6.2% to 7.3% of the stock price, which is above what most companies in the industry pay.
Sandon Capital Investments' Dividend Is Well Covered By Earnings
We like to see robust dividend yields, but that doesn't matter if the payment isn't sustainable. Sandon Capital Investments is quite easily earning enough to cover the dividend, however it is being let down by weak cash flows. In general, we consider cash flow to be more important than earnings, so we would be cautious about relying on the sustainability of this dividend.
If the trend of the last few years continues, EPS will grow by 13.8% over the next 12 months. If the dividend continues along recent trends, we estimate the payout ratio will be 34%, which is in the range that makes us comfortable with the sustainability of the dividend.
Sandon Capital Investments' Dividend Has Lacked Consistency
Looking back, Sandon Capital Investments' dividend hasn't been particularly consistent. Due to this, we are a little bit cautious about the dividend consistency over a full economic cycle. Since 2015, the dividend has gone from AU$0.04 to AU$0.055. This works out to be a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 4.7% a year over that time. The dividend has seen some fluctuations in the past, so even though the dividend was raised this year, we should remember that it has been cut in the past.
The Dividend Looks Likely To Grow
Growing earnings per share could be a mitigating factor when considering the past fluctuations in the dividend. It's encouraging to see Sandon Capital Investments has been growing its earnings per share at 14% a year over the past five years. Growth in EPS bodes well for the dividend, as does the low payout ratio that the company is currently reporting.
We'd also point out that Sandon Capital Investments has issued stock equal to 22% of shares outstanding. Regularly doing this can be detrimental - it's hard to grow dividends per share when new shares are regularly being created.
Overall, this is probably not a great income stock, even though the dividend is being raised at the moment. With cash flows lacking, it is difficult to see how the company can sustain a dividend payment. This company is not in the top tier of income providing stocks.
Companies possessing a stable dividend policy will likely enjoy greater investor interest than those suffering from a more inconsistent approach. Meanwhile, despite the importance of dividend payments, they are not the only factors our readers should know when assessing a company. For instance, we've picked out 3 warning signs for Sandon Capital Investments that investors should take into consideration. If you are a dividend investor, you might also want to look at our curated list of high yield dividend stocks.
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