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Should Covanta Holding Corporation (NYSE:CVA) Be Part Of Your Portfolio?

Simply Wall St

A sizeable part of portfolio returns can be produced by dividend stocks due to their contribution to compounding returns in the long run. Historically, Covanta Holding Corporation (NYSE:CVA) has paid dividends to shareholders, and these days it yields 5.8%. Let's dig deeper into whether Covanta Holding should have a place in your portfolio.

Check out our latest analysis for Covanta Holding

5 checks you should do on a dividend stock

When researching a dividend stock, I always follow the following screening criteria:

  • Is its annual yield among the top 25% of dividend-paying companies?
  • Has its dividend been stable over the past (i.e. no missed payments or significant payout cuts)?
  • Has dividend per share risen in the past couple of years?
  • Can it afford to pay the current rate of dividends from its earnings?
  • Will it be able to continue to payout at the current rate in the future?
NYSE:CVA Historical Dividend Yield, April 10th 2019

How does Covanta Holding fare?

Covanta Holding has a trailing twelve-month payout ratio of 86%, meaning the dividend is sufficiently covered by earnings. Furthermore, analysts are forecasting the payout ratio to exceed earnings going forward, leading to a future of uncertainty around the stability of CVA's dividend income.

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 business with strong cash flow can sustain a higher divided payout ratio than a company with weak cash flow.

If there is one thing that you want to be reliable in your life, it's dividend stocks and their constant income stream. The reality is that it is too early to consider Covanta Holding as a dividend investment. It has only been consistently paying dividends for 8 years, however, standard practice for reliable payers is to look for a 10-year minimum track record.

Relative to peers, Covanta Holding generates a yield of 5.8%, which is high for Commercial Services stocks.

Next Steps:

If Covanta Holding is in your portfolio for cash-generating reasons, there may be better alternatives out there. However, if you are not strictly just a dividend investor, the stock could still offer some interesting investment opportunities. Given that this is purely a dividend analysis, I recommend taking sufficient time to understand its core business and determine whether the company and its investment properties suit your overall goals. There are three pertinent factors you should look at:

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for CVA’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for CVA’s outlook.
  2. Valuation: What is CVA 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 CVA 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.