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Is Communications Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:JCS) A Smart Choice For Dividend Investors?

Simply Wall St

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Dividends play an important role in compounding returns in the long run and end up forming a sizeable part of investment returns. Historically, Communications Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:JCS) has paid a dividend to shareholders. It currently yields 3.1%. Does Communications Systems tick all the boxes of a great dividend stock? Below, I'll take you through my analysis.

See our latest analysis for Communications Systems

5 questions to ask before buying a dividend stock

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

  • Is it paying an annual yield above 75% of dividend payers?
  • Does it consistently pay out dividends without missing a payment of significantly cutting payout?
  • Has dividend per share amount increased over the past?
  • Does earnings amply cover its dividend payments?
  • Will the company be able to keep paying dividend based on the future earnings growth?
NasdaqGM:JCS Historical Dividend Yield, April 3rd 2019

How well does Communications Systems fit our criteria?

The current payout ratio for JCS is negative, which is not great.

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. Companies with strong cash flow can sustain a higher payout ratio, while companies with weaker cash flow generally cannot.

Reliablity is an important factor for dividend stocks, particularly for income investors who want a strong track record of payment and a positive outlook for future payout. Dividend payments from Communications Systems have been volatile in the past 10 years, with some years experiencing significant drops of over 25%. This means that dividend hunters should probably steer clear of the stock, at least for now until the track record improves.

Compared to its peers, Communications Systems produces a yield of 3.1%, which is high for Communications stocks but still below the market's top dividend payers.

Next Steps:

Now you know to keep in mind the reason why investors should be careful investing in Communications Systems for the dividend. 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, you should always research extensively before deciding whether or not a stock is an appropriate investment for you. I always recommend analysing the company's fundamentals and underlying business before making an investment decision. I've put together three relevant factors you should further research:

  1. Historical Performance: What has JCS's returns been like over the past? Go into more detail in the past track record analysis and take a look at the free visual representations of our analysis for more clarity.
  2. Management Team: An experienced management team on the helm increases our confidence in the business – take a look at who sits on Communications Systems’s board and the CEO’s back ground.
  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.