Compass Minerals International, Inc.'s (NYSE:CMP) investors are due to receive a payment of $0.15 per share on 20th of December. This payment means the dividend yield will be 1.4%, which is below the average for the industry.
Compass Minerals International's Dividend Is Well Covered By Earnings
If it is predictable over a long period, even low dividend yields can be attractive. Even though Compass Minerals International isn't generating a profit, it is generating healthy free cash flows that easily cover the dividend. We generally think that cash flow is more important than accounting measures of profit, so we are fairly comfortable with the dividend at this level.
Analysts expect a massive rise in earnings per share in the next year. If the dividend continues along recent trends, we estimate the payout ratio will be 49%, so there isn't too much pressure on the dividend.
The company has a long dividend track record, but it doesn't look great with cuts in the past. The annual payment during the last 10 years was $1.98 in 2012, and the most recent fiscal year payment was $0.60. This works out to a decline of approximately 70% over that time. Declining dividends isn't generally what we look for as they can indicate that the company is running into some challenges.
Dividend Growth Potential Is Shaky
With a relatively unstable dividend, and a poor history of shrinking dividends, it's even more important to see if EPS is growing. Earnings per share has been sinking by 28% over the last five years. Dividend payments are likely to come under some pressure unless EPS can pull out of the nosedive it is in. On the bright side, earnings are predicted to gain some ground over the next year, but until this turns into a pattern we wouldn't be feeling too comfortable.
An additional note is that the company has been raising capital by issuing stock equal to 20% of shares outstanding in the last 12 months. Regularly doing this can be detrimental - it's hard to grow dividends per share when new shares are regularly being created.
The Dividend Could Prove To Be Unreliable
Overall, we don't think this company makes a great dividend stock, even though the dividend wasn't cut this year. The company is generating plenty of cash, which could maintain the dividend for a while, but the track record hasn't been great. We would probably look elsewhere for an income investment.
Market movements attest to how highly valued a consistent dividend policy is compared to one which is more unpredictable. Still, investors need to consider a host of other factors, apart from dividend payments, when analysing a company. Just as an example, we've come across 2 warning signs for Compass Minerals International you should be aware of, and 1 of them doesn't sit too well with us. Is Compass Minerals International not quite the opportunity you were looking for? Why not check out our selection of top dividend stocks.
Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.
This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.
Join A Paid User Research Session
You’ll receive a US$30 Amazon Gift card for 1 hour of your time while helping us build better investing tools for the individual investors like yourself. Sign up here