BMO Real Estate Investments Limited (LON:BREI) is about to trade ex-dividend in the next 3 days. Investors can purchase shares before the 12th of September in order to be eligible for this dividend, which will be paid on the 30th of September.
BMO Real Estate Investments's next dividend payment will be UK£0.013 per share, on the back of last year when the company paid a total of UK£0.05 to shareholders. Last year's total dividend payments show that BMO Real Estate Investments has a trailing yield of 5.9% on the current share price of £0.852. If you buy this business for its dividend, you should have an idea of whether BMO Real Estate Investments's dividend is reliable and sustainable. We need to see whether the dividend is covered by earnings and if it's growing.
Dividends are typically paid from company earnings. If a company pays more in dividends than it earned in profit, then the dividend could be unsustainable. Its dividend payout ratio is 83% of profit, which means the company is paying out a majority of its earnings. The relatively limited profit reinvestment could slow the rate of future earnings growth We'd be worried about the risk of a drop in earnings. That said, REITs are often required by law to distribute all of their earnings, and it's not unusual to see a REIT with a payout ratio around 100%. We wouldn't read too much into this. A useful secondary check can be to evaluate whether BMO Real Estate Investments generated enough free cash flow to afford its dividend. Over the last year, it paid out more than three-quarters (83%) of its free cash flow generated, which is fairly high and may be starting to limit reinvestment in the business.
It's encouraging to see that the dividend is covered by both profit and cash flow. This generally suggests the dividend is sustainable, as long as earnings don't drop precipitously.
Have Earnings And Dividends Been Growing?
Stocks in companies that generate sustainable earnings growth often make the best dividend prospects, as it is easier to lift the dividend when earnings are rising. Investors love dividends, so if earnings fall and the dividend is reduced, expect a stock to be sold off heavily at the same time. That's why it's comforting to see BMO Real Estate Investments's earnings have been skyrocketing, up 38% per annum for the past five years. The company is paying out more than three-quarters of its earnings, but it is also generating strong earnings growth.
Another key way to measure a company's dividend prospects is by measuring its historical rate of dividend growth. BMO Real Estate Investments's dividend payments per share have declined at 3.6% per year on average over the past 10 years, which is uninspiring. It's unusual to see earnings per share increasing at the same time as dividends per share have been in decline. We'd hope it's because the company is reinvesting heavily in its business, but it could also suggest business is lumpy.
Should investors buy BMO Real Estate Investments for the upcoming dividend? Higher earnings per share generally lead to higher dividends from dividend-paying stocks over the long run. However, we'd also note that BMO Real Estate Investments is paying out more than half of its earnings and cash flow as profits, which could limit the dividend growth if earnings growth slows. It might be worth researching if the company is reinvesting in growth projects that could grow earnings and dividends in the future, but for now we're not all that optimistic on its dividend prospects.
Keen to explore more data on BMO Real Estate Investments's financial performance? Check out our visualisation of its historical revenue and earnings growth.
We wouldn't recommend just buying the first dividend stock you see, though. Here's a list of interesting dividend stocks with a greater than 2% yield and an upcoming dividend.
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