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Is Carnival plc (LON:CCL) A Great Dividend Stock?

Simply Wall St

Dividends play a key role in compounding returns over time and can form a large part of our portfolio return. Historically, Carnival plc (LON:CCL) has paid dividends to shareholders, and these days it yields 3.7%. Does Carnival tick all the boxes of a great dividend stock? Below, I’ll take you through my analysis.

View our latest analysis for Carnival

5 checks you should use to assess a dividend stock

Whenever I am looking at a potential dividend stock investment, I always check these five metrics:

  • Is its annual yield among the top 25% of dividend-paying companies?
  • Has it consistently paid a stable dividend without missing a payment or drastically cutting payout?
  • Has dividend per share risen in the past couple of years?
  • Is its earnings sufficient to payout dividend at the current rate?
  • Will it be able to continue to payout at the current rate in the future?
LSE:CCL Historical Dividend Yield, March 15th 2019

How well does Carnival fit our criteria?

The current trailing twelve-month payout ratio for the stock is 44%, meaning the dividend is sufficiently covered by earnings. Going forward, analysts expect CCL’s payout to remain around the same level at 44% of its earnings. Assuming a constant share price, this equates to a dividend yield of around 4.3%. In addition to this, EPS should increase to $4.82.

If you want to dive deeper into the sustainability of a certain payout ratio, you may wish to consider the cash flow of the business. A company with strong cash flow, relative to earnings, can sometimes sustain a high pay out ratio.

If dividend is a key criteria in your investment consideration, then you need to make sure the dividend stock you’re eyeing out is reliable in its payments. Unfortunately, it is really too early to view Carnival as a dividend investment. It has only been consistently paying dividends for 9 years, however, standard practice for reliable payers is to look for a 10-year minimum track record.

Compared to its peers, Carnival has a yield of 3.7%, which is high for Hospitality stocks but still below the market’s top dividend payers.

Next Steps:

If Carnival is in your portfolio for cash-generating reasons, there may be better alternatives out there. But if you are not exclusively a dividend investor, the stock could still be an interesting investment opportunity. Given that this is purely a dividend analysis, I urge potential investors to try and get a good understanding of the underlying business and its fundamentals before deciding on an investment. There are three pertinent factors you should further examine:

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for CCL’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for CCL’s outlook.
  2. Valuation: What is CCL worth today? Even if the stock is a cash cow, it’s not worth an infinite price. The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether CCL is currently mispriced by the market.
  3. Dividend Rockstars: Are there better dividend payers with stronger fundamentals out there? Check out our free list of these great stocks here.

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.