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Should You Buy Cenkos Securities plc (LON:CNKS) For Its Dividend?

Simply Wall St

Dividend paying stocks like Cenkos Securities plc (LON:CNKS) tend to be popular with investors, and for good reason - some research suggests a significant amount of all stock market returns come from reinvested dividends. If you are hoping to live on the income from dividends, it's important to be a lot more stringent with your investments than the average punter.

With Cenkos Securities yielding 9.3% and having paid a dividend for over 10 years, many investors likely find the company quite interesting. We'd guess that plenty of investors have purchased it for the income. During the year, the company also conducted a buyback equivalent to around 8.4% of its market capitalisation. Some simple research can reduce the risk of buying Cenkos Securities for its dividend - read on to learn more.

Explore this interactive chart for our latest analysis on Cenkos Securities!

AIM:CNKS Historical Dividend Yield, September 19th 2019

Payout ratios

Companies (usually) pay dividends out of their earnings. If a company is paying more than it earns, the dividend might have to be cut. 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, Cenkos Securities paid out 106% of its profit as dividends. A payout ratio above 100% is definitely an item of concern, unless there are some other circumstances that would justify it.

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

Dividend Volatility

From the perspective of an income investor who wants to earn dividends for many years, there is not much point buying a stock if its dividend is regularly cut or is not reliable. For the purpose of this article, we only scrutinise the last decade of Cenkos Securities's dividend payments. Its dividend payments have fallen by 20% or more on at least one occasion over the past ten years. During the past ten-year period, the first annual payment was UK£0.17 in 2009, compared to UK£0.045 last year. This works out to a decline of approximately 74% over that time.

We struggle to make a case for buying Cenkos Securities for its dividend, given that payments have shrunk over the past ten years.

Dividend Growth Potential

With a relatively unstable dividend, and a poor history of shrinking dividends, it's even more important to see if EPS are growing. Cenkos Securities's EPS have fallen by approximately 21% per year. A sharp decline in earnings per share is not great from from a dividend perspective, as even conservative payout ratios can come under pressure if earnings fall far enough.

Conclusion

To summarise, shareholders should always check that Cenkos Securities's dividends are affordable, that its dividend payments are relatively stable, and that it has decent prospects for growing its earnings and dividend. Cenkos Securities is paying out a larger percentage of its profit than we're comfortable with. Second, earnings per share have been in decline, and its dividend has been cut at least once in the past. With any dividend stock, we look for a sustainable payout ratio, steady dividends, and growing earnings. Cenkos Securities has a few too many issues for us to get interested.

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

If you are a dividend investor, you might also want to look at our curated list of dividend stocks yielding 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.