Something To Consider Before Buying S Chand and Company Limited (NSE:SCHAND) For The 2.6% Dividend

Simply Wall St

Is S Chand and Company Limited (NSE:SCHAND) 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.

With only a two-year payment history, and a 2.6% yield, investors probably think S Chand is not much of a dividend stock. A low dividend might not be a bad thing, if the company is reinvesting heavily and growing its sales and profits. Remember though, given the recent drop in its share price, S Chand's yield will look higher, even though the market may now be expecting a decline in its long-term prospects. There are a few simple ways to reduce the risks of buying S Chand for its dividend, and we'll go through these below.

Explore this interactive chart for our latest analysis on S Chand!

NSEI:SCHAND Historical Dividend Yield, August 14th 2019

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 S Chand pays a dividend, it was loss-making during the past year. When a company is loss-making, we next need to check to see if its cash flows can support the dividend.

We update our data on S Chand every 24 hours, so you can always get our latest analysis of its financial health, here.

Dividend Volatility

One of the major risks of relying on dividend income, is the potential for a company to struggle financially and cut its dividend. Not only is your income cut, but the value of your investment declines as well - nasty. The dividend has not fluctuated much, but with a relatively short payment history, we can't be sure this is sustainable across a full market cycle. During the past two-year period, the first annual payment was ₹1.25 in 2017, compared to ₹1.50 last year. Dividends per share have grown at approximately 9.5% per year over this time.

The dividend has been growing at a reasonable rate, which we like. We're conscious though that one of the best ways to detect a multi-decade consistent dividend-payer, is to watch a company pay dividends for 20 years - a distinction S Chand has not achieved yet.

Dividend Growth Potential

The other half of the dividend investing equation is evaluating whether earnings per share (EPS) are growing. Over the long term, dividends need to grow at or above the rate of inflation, in order to maintain the recipient's purchasing power. S Chand's earnings per share have shrunk at 21% 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 S Chand's earnings per share, which support the dividend, have been anything but stable.

We'd also point out that S Chand issued a meaningful number of new shares in the past year. Regularly issuing new shares can be detrimental - it's hard to grow dividends per share when new shares are regularly being created.

Conclusion

To summarise, shareholders should always check that S Chand's dividends are affordable, that its dividend payments are relatively stable, and that it has decent prospects for growing its earnings and dividend. 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. Unfortunately, there hasn't been any earnings growth, and the company's dividend history has been too short for us to evaluate the consistency of the dividend. In summary, S Chand has a number of shortcomings that we'd find it hard to get past. Things could change, but we think there are a number of better ideas out there.

Are management backing themselves to deliver performance? Check their shareholdings in S Chand in our latest insider ownership analysis.

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