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Should Bannari Amman Sugars Limited (NSE:BANARISUG) Be Part Of Your Dividend Portfolio?

Simply Wall St

Could Bannari Amman Sugars Limited (NSE:BANARISUG) 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. 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.

A slim 0.7% yield is hard to get excited about, but the long payment history is respectable. At the right price, or with strong growth opportunities, Bannari Amman Sugars could have potential. Some simple analysis can reduce the risk of holding Bannari Amman Sugars for its dividend, and we'll focus on the most important aspects below.

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NSEI:BANARISUG Historical Dividend Yield, May 23rd 2019

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Payout ratios

Dividends are usually paid out of company earnings. If a company is paying more than it earns, 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, Bannari Amman Sugars paid out 22% of its profit as dividends. We'd say its dividends are thoroughly covered by earnings.

We also measure dividends paid against a company's levered free cash flow, to see if enough cash was generated to cover the dividend. Bannari Amman Sugars's cash payout ratio last year was 2.9%. Cash flows are typically lumpy, but this looks like an appropriately conservative payout. It's positive to see that Bannari Amman Sugars'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.

Is Bannari Amman Sugars's Balance Sheet Risky?

As Bannari Amman Sugars has a meaningful amount of debt, we need to check its balance sheet to see if the company might have debt risks. A quick way to check a company's financial situation uses these two ratios: net debt divided by EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation), and net interest cover. Net debt to EBITDA measures a company's total debt load relative to its earnings (lower = less debt), while net interest cover measures the company's ability to pay the interest on its debt (higher = greater ability to pay interest costs). Bannari Amman Sugars is carrying net debt of 3.37 times its EBITDA, which is getting towards the upper limit of our comfort range on a dividend stock that the investor hopes will endure a wide range of economic circumstances.

We calculated its interest cover by measuring its earnings before interest and tax (EBIT), and dividing this by the company's net interest expense. With EBIT of 4.94 times its interest expense, Bannari Amman Sugars's interest cover is starting to look a bit thin.

Remember, you can always get a snapshot of Bannari Amman Sugars's latest financial position, by checking our visualisation of its financial health.

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. For the purpose of this article, we only scrutinise the last decade of Bannari Amman Sugars's dividend payments. The dividend has been cut by more than 20% on at least one occasion historically. Its most recent annual dividend was ₹10.00 per share, effectively flat on its first payment ten years ago.

It's good to see some dividend growth, but the dividend has been cut at least once, and the size of the cut would eliminate most of the growth, anyway. We're not that enthused by this.

Dividend Growth Potential

Given that the dividend has been cut in the past, we need to check if earnings are growing and if that might lead to stronger dividends in the future. Over the past five years, it looks as though Bannari Amman Sugars's EPS have declined at around 18% a year. If earnings continue to decline, the dividend may come under pressure. Every investor should make an assessment of whether the company is taking steps to stabilise the situation.

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. Firstly, we like that Bannari Amman Sugars has low and conservative payout ratios. Earnings per share are down, and Bannari Amman Sugars's dividend has been cut at least once in the past, which is disappointing. In sum, we find it hard to get excited about Bannari Amman Sugars from a dividend perspective. It's not that we think it's a bad business; just that there are other companies that perform better on these criteria.

You can also discover whether shareholders are aligned with insider interests by checking our visualisation of insider shareholdings and trades in Bannari Amman Sugars 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.