Are You An Income Investor? Don't Miss Out On Fair Value REIT-AG (FRA:FVI)

Simply Wall St

Is Fair Value REIT-AG (FRA:FVI) a good dividend stock? How can we tell? Dividend paying companies with growing earnings can be highly rewarding in the long term. If you are hoping to live on your dividends, it's important to be more stringent with your investments than the average punter. Regular readers know we like to apply the same approach to each dividend stock, and we hope you'll find our analysis useful.

Investors might not know much about Fair Value REIT-AG's dividend prospects, even though it has been paying dividends for the last nine years and offers a 1.8% yield. A 1.8% yield is not inspiring, but the longer payment history has some appeal. The company also returned around 1.0% of its market capitalisation to shareholders in the form of stock buybacks over the past year. Some simple analysis can offer a lot of insights when buying a company for its dividend, and we'll go through this below.

Explore this interactive chart for our latest analysis on Fair Value REIT-AG!

DB:FVI Historical Dividend Yield, November 12th 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. Comparing dividend payments to a company's net profit after tax is a simple way of reality-checking whether a dividend is sustainable. In the last year, Fair Value REIT-AG paid out 26% of its profit as dividends. This is a medium payout level that leaves enough capital in the business to fund opportunities that might arise, while also rewarding shareholders. Besides, if reinvestment opportunities dry up, the company has room to increase the dividend.

We also measure dividends paid against a company's levered free cash flow, to see if enough cash was generated to cover the dividend. Fair Value REIT-AG paid out 18% of its free cash flow as dividends last year, which is conservative and suggests the dividend is sustainable. It's positive to see that Fair Value REIT-AG's dividend is covered by both profits and cash flow, since this is generally a sign that the dividend is sustainable, and a lower payout ratio usually suggests a greater margin of safety before the dividend gets cut.

It is worth considering that Fair Value REIT-AG is a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT). REITs have different rules governing their payments, and are often required to pay out a high portion of their earnings to investors.

Is Fair Value REIT-AG's Balance Sheet Risky?

As Fair Value REIT-AG has a meaningful amount of debt, we need to check its balance sheet to see if the company might have debt risks. A quick check of its financial situation can be done with two ratios: net debt divided by EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation), and net interest cover. Net debt to EBITDA measures total debt load relative to company earnings (lower = less debt), while net interest cover measures the ability to pay interest on the debt (higher = greater ability to pay interest costs). Fair Value REIT-AG has net debt of 6.72 times its EBITDA, which implies meaningful risk if interest rates rise of earnings decline.

We calculated its interest cover by measuring its earnings before interest and tax (EBIT), and dividing this by the company's net interest expense. Fair Value REIT-AG has EBIT of 5.51 times its interest expense, which we think is adequate. Adequate interest cover may make the debt look safe, relative to companies with a lower interest cover ratio. However with such a large mountain of debt overall, we're cautious of what could happen if interest rates rise. That said, Fair Value REIT-AG is in the real estate business, which is typically able to sustain much higher levels of debt, relative to other industries.

We update our data on Fair Value REIT-AG every 24 hours, so you can always get our latest analysis of its financial health, 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. Looking at the last decade of data, we can see that Fair Value REIT-AG paid its first dividend at least nine years ago. It's good to see that Fair Value REIT-AG has been paying a dividend for a number of years. However, the dividend has been cut at least once in the past, and we're concerned that what has been cut once, could be cut again. During the past nine-year period, the first annual payment was €0.10 in 2010, compared to €0.15 last year. This works out to be a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 4.6% a year over that 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.

We're glad to see the dividend has risen, but with a limited rate of growth and fluctuations in the payments, we don't think this is an attractive combination.

Dividend Growth Potential

With a relatively unstable dividend, it's even more important to evaluate if earnings per share (EPS) are growing - it's not worth taking the risk on a dividend getting cut, unless you might be rewarded with larger dividends in future. It's good to see Fair Value REIT-AG has been growing its earnings per share at 52% a year over the past five years. Earnings per share have rocketed in recent times, and we like that the company is retaining more than half of its earnings to reinvest. However, always remember that very few companies can grow at double digit rates forever.

Conclusion

To summarise, shareholders should always check that Fair Value REIT-AG's dividends are affordable, that its dividend payments are relatively stable, and that it has decent prospects for growing its earnings and dividend. Firstly, we like that Fair Value REIT-AG has low and conservative payout ratios. We were also glad to see it growing earnings, but it was concerning to see the dividend has been cut at least once in the past. Overall we think Fair Value REIT-AG scores well on our analysis. It's not quite perfect, but we'd definitely be keen to take a closer look.

Now, if you want to look closer, it would be worth checking out our free research on Fair Value REIT-AG management tenure, salary, and performance.

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 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.