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Could Kina Securities Limited (ASX:KSL) Have The Makings Of Another Dividend Aristocrat?

Simply Wall St

Dividend paying stocks like Kina Securities Limited (ASX:KSL) 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.

In this case, Kina Securities likely looks attractive to dividend investors, given its 6.5% dividend yield and four-year payment history. We'd agree the yield does look enticing. Some simple research can reduce the risk of buying Kina Securities for its dividend - read on to learn more.

Click the interactive chart for our full dividend analysis

ASX:KSL Historical Dividend Yield, November 5th 2019

Payout ratios

Dividends are usually paid out of company earnings. If a company is paying more than it earns, then the dividend might become unsustainable - hardly an ideal situation. Comparing dividend payments to a company's net profit after tax is a simple way of reality-checking whether a dividend is sustainable. Kina Securities paid out 72% of its profit as dividends, over the trailing twelve month period. A payout ratio above 50% generally implies a business is reaching maturity, although it is still possible to reinvest in the business or increase the dividend over time.

Remember, you can always get a snapshot of Kina 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. Looking at the data, we can see that Kina Securities has been paying a dividend for the past four years. This company's dividend has been unstable, and with a relatively short history, we think it's a little soon to draw strong conclusions about its long term dividend potential. During the past four-year period, the first annual payment was K0.074 in 2015, compared to K0.22 last year. Dividends per share have grown at approximately 32% per year over this time. Kina Securities's dividend payments have fluctuated, so it hasn't grown 32% every year, but the CAGR is a useful rule of thumb for approximating the historical growth.

It's not great to see that the payment has been cut in the past. We're generally more wary of companies that have cut their dividend before, as they tend to perform worse in an economic downturn.

Dividend Growth Potential

With a relatively unstable dividend, it's even more important to evaluate if earnings per share (EPS) are growing - it's not worth taking the risk on a dividend getting cut, unless you might be rewarded with larger dividends in future. It's good to see Kina Securities has been growing its earnings per share at 96% a year over the past three years. With recent, rapid earnings per share growth and a payout ratio of 72%, this business looks like an interesting prospect if earnings are reinvested effectively.

Conclusion

When we look at a dividend stock, we need to form a judgement on whether the dividend will grow, if the company is able to maintain it in a wide range of economic circumstances, and if the dividend payout is sustainable. Kina Securities's payout ratio is within an average range for most market participants. We were also glad to see it growing earnings, but it was concerning to see the dividend has been cut at least once in the past. Kina Securities might not be a bad business, but it doesn't show all of the characteristics we look for in a dividend stock.

You can also discover whether shareholders are aligned with insider interests by checking our visualisation of insider shareholdings and trades in Kina Securities stock.

Looking for more high-yielding dividend ideas? Try our curated list of dividend stocks with a yield 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.