Dividend paying stocks like Compagnie du Cambodge (EPA:CBDG) tend to be popular with investors, and for good reason - some research suggests a significant amount of all stock market returns come from reinvested 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.
With a 2.8% yield and a nine-year payment history, investors probably think Compagnie du Cambodge looks like a reliable dividend stock. While the yield may not look too great, the relatively long payment history is interesting. Some simple analysis can offer a lot of insights when buying a company for its dividend, and we'll go through this below.
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 form a view on if a company's dividend is sustainable, relative to its net profit after tax. In the last year, Compagnie du Cambodge paid out 1976% of its profit as dividends. Unless there are extenuating circumstances, from the perspective of an investor who hopes to own the company for many years, a payout ratio of above 100% is definitely a concern.
Another important check we do is to see if the free cash flow generated is sufficient to pay the dividend. Last year, Compagnie du Cambodge paid a dividend while reporting negative free cash flow. While there may be an explanation, we think this behaviour is generally not sustainable.
With a strong net cash balance, Compagnie du Cambodge investors may not have much to worry about in the near term from a dividend perspective.
Remember, you can always get a snapshot of Compagnie du Cambodge's latest financial position, by checking our visualisation of its financial health.
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. Looking at the last decade of data, we can see that Compagnie du Cambodge paid its first dividend at least nine years ago. Although it has been paying a dividend for several years now, the dividend has been cut at least once by more than 20%, and we're cautious about the consistency of its dividend across a full economic cycle. During the past nine-year period, the first annual payment was €100.00 in 2010, compared to €180 last year. Dividends per share have grown at approximately 6.7% per year over this time. The growth in dividends has not been linear, but the CAGR is a decent approximation of the rate of change over this time frame.
Dividends have grown at a reasonable rate, but with at least one substantial cut in the payments, we're not certain this dividend stock would be ideal for someone intending to live on the income.
Dividend Growth Potential
With a relatively unstable dividend, it's even more important to see if earnings per share (EPS) are growing. Why take the risk of a dividend getting cut, unless there's a good chance of bigger dividends in future? Compagnie du Cambodge's earnings per share have shrunk at 28% 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 Compagnie du Cambodge's earnings per share, which support the dividend, have been anything but stable.
Dividend investors should always want to know if a) a company's dividends are affordable, b) if there is a track record of consistent payments, and c) if the dividend is capable of growing. It's a concern to see that the company paid out such a high percentage of its earnings and cashflow as dividends. Second, earnings per share have been in decline, and its dividend has been cut at least once in the past. There are a few too many issues for us to get comfortable with Compagnie du Cambodge from a dividend perspective. Businesses can change, but we would struggle to identify why an investor should rely on this stock for their income.
Are management backing themselves to deliver performance? Check their shareholdings in Compagnie du Cambodge in our latest insider ownership analysis.
If you are a dividend investor, you might also want to look at our curated list of dividend stocks yielding 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.