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Is Amigo Holdings PLC (LON:AMGO) A Smart Choice For Dividend Investors?

Simply Wall St

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Is Amigo Holdings PLC (LON:AMGO) a good dividend stock? How can we tell? Dividend paying companies with growing earnings can be highly rewarding in the long term. 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.

Some readers mightn't know much about Amigo Holdings's 5.4% dividend, as it has only been paying distributions for a year or so. Some simple analysis can reduce the risk of holding Amigo Holdings for its dividend, and we'll focus on the most important aspects below.

Explore this interactive chart for our latest analysis on Amigo Holdings!

LSE:AMGO Historical Dividend Yield, July 15th 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. 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, Amigo Holdings paid out 48% of its profit as dividends. This is a middling range that strikes a nice balance between paying dividends to shareholders, and retaining enough earnings to invest in future growth. One of the risks is that management reinvests the retained capital poorly instead of paying a higher dividend.

Consider getting our latest analysis on Amigo Holdings's financial position 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. With a payment history of less than 2 years, we think it's a bit too soon to think about living on the income from its dividend. During the past one-year period, the first annual payment was UK£0.037 in 2018, compared to UK£0.093 last year. Dividends per share have grown at approximately 149% per year over this time.

The dividend has been growing pretty quickly, which could be enough to get us interested even though the dividend history is relatively short. Further research may be warranted.

Dividend Growth Potential

Examining whether the dividend is affordable and stable is important. However, it's also important to assess if 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. Amigo Holdings has grown its EPS 54% 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. 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. 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

To summarise, shareholders should always check that Amigo Holdings'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 glad to see Amigo Holdings has a low payout ratio, as this suggests earnings are being reinvested in the business. We were also glad to see it growing earnings, although its dividend history is not as long as we'd like. Amigo Holdings has a number of positive attributes, but falls short of our ideal dividend company. It may be worth a look at the right price, though.

Companies that are growing earnings tend to be the best dividend stocks over the long term. See what the 8 analysts we track are forecasting for Amigo Holdings for free with public analyst estimates for the company.

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.