Three Things You Should Check Before Buying UP Global Sourcing Holdings plc (LON:UPGS) For Its Dividend

Simply Wall St

Could UP Global Sourcing Holdings plc (LON:UPGS) 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. Unfortunately, it's common for investors to be enticed in by the seemingly attractive yield, and lose money when the company has to cut its dividend payments.

UP Global Sourcing Holdings yields a solid 3.6%, although it has only been paying for two years. A 3.6% yield does look good. Could the short payment history hint at future dividend growth? The company also bought back stock equivalent to around 1.5% of market capitalisation this year. There are a few simple ways to reduce the risks of buying UP Global Sourcing Holdings for its dividend, and we'll go through these below.

Explore this interactive chart for our latest analysis on UP Global Sourcing Holdings!

LSE:UPGS Historical Dividend Yield, August 7th 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. In the last year, UP Global Sourcing Holdings paid out 43% 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. One of the risks is that management reinvests the retained capital poorly instead of paying a higher dividend.

In addition to comparing dividends against profits, we should inspect whether the company generated enough cash to pay its dividend. Unfortunately, while UP Global Sourcing Holdings pays a dividend, it also reported negative free cash flow last year. While there may be a good reason for this, it's not ideal from a dividend perspective.

Remember, you can always get a snapshot of UP Global Sourcing Holdings's latest financial position, by checking our visualisation of its financial health.

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. It has only been paying dividends for a few short years, and the dividend has already been cut at least once. This is one income stream we're not ready to live on. During the past two-year period, the first annual payment was UK£0.032 in 2017, compared to UK£0.027 last year. This works out to be a decline of approximately 8.4% per year over that time. UP Global Sourcing Holdings's dividend has been cut sharply at least once, so it hasn't fallen by 8.4% every year, but this is a decent approximation of the long term change.

We struggle to make a case for buying UP Global Sourcing Holdings for its dividend, given that payments have shrunk over the past two years.

Dividend Growth Potential

Given that dividend payments have been shrinking like a glacier in a warming world, we need to check if there are some bright spots on the horizon. UP Global Sourcing Holdings has grown its EPS 70% over the past 12 months. It's good to see earnings per share rising, but one year is too short a period to get excited about. Were this trend to continue, we'd be interested. With high earnings per share growth in recent times and a modest payout ratio, we think this is an attractive combination if earnings can be reinvested to generate further growth. Any one year of performance can be misleading for a variety of reasons, so we wouldn't like to form any strong conclusions based on these numbers alone.

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. First, we like UP Global Sourcing Holdings's low dividend payout ratio, although we're a bit concerned that it paid out a substantially higher percentage of its free cash flow. Unfortunately, the company has not been able to generate earnings per share growth, and cut its dividend at least once in the past. Ultimately, UP Global Sourcing Holdings comes up short on our dividend analysis. It's not that we think it is a bad company - just that there are likely more appealing dividend prospects out there on this analysis.

You can also discover whether shareholders are aligned with insider interests by checking our visualisation of insider shareholdings and trades in UP Global Sourcing Holdings stock.

We have also put together a list of global stocks with a market capitalisation above $1bn and yielding more 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.