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Dividend Investors: Don't Be Too Quick To Buy HCI Group, Inc. (NYSE:HCI) For Its Upcoming Dividend

Simply Wall St
·3 mins read

HCI Group, Inc. (NYSE:HCI) stock is about to trade ex-dividend in two days. If you purchase the stock on or after the 20th of August, you won't be eligible to receive this dividend, when it is paid on the 18th of September.

HCI Group's upcoming dividend is US$0.40 a share, following on from the last 12 months, when the company distributed a total of US$1.60 per share to shareholders. Based on the last year's worth of payments, HCI Group stock has a trailing yield of around 2.9% on the current share price of $55.59. Dividends are a major contributor to investment returns for long term holders, but only if the dividend continues to be paid. That's why we should always check whether the dividend payments appear sustainable, and if the company is growing.

See our latest analysis for HCI Group

Dividends are usually paid out of company profits, so if a company pays out more than it earned then its dividend is usually at greater risk of being cut. HCI Group paid out more than half (57%) of its earnings last year, which is a regular payout ratio for most companies.

Companies that pay out less in dividends than they earn in profits generally have more sustainable dividends. The lower the payout ratio, the more wiggle room the business has before it could be forced to cut the dividend.

Click here to see the company's payout ratio, plus analyst estimates of its future dividends.

historic-dividend
historic-dividend

Have Earnings And Dividends Been Growing?

Businesses with shrinking earnings are tricky from a dividend perspective. If earnings decline and the company is forced to cut its dividend, investors could watch the value of their investment go up in smoke. With that in mind, we're discomforted by HCI Group's 14% per annum decline in earnings in the past five years. When earnings per share fall, the maximum amount of dividends that can be paid also falls.

Many investors will assess a company's dividend performance by evaluating how much the dividend payments have changed over time. In the past 10 years, HCI Group has increased its dividend at approximately 15% a year on average. That's interesting, but the combination of a growing dividend despite declining earnings can typically only be achieved by paying out more of the company's profits. This can be valuable for shareholders, but it can't go on forever.

Final Takeaway

Has HCI Group got what it takes to maintain its dividend payments? We're not overly enthused to see HCI Group's earnings in retreat at the same time as the company is paying out more than half of its earnings as dividends to shareholders. This is not an overtly appealing combination of characteristics, and we're just not that interested in this company's dividend.

Having said that, if you're looking at this stock without much concern for the dividend, you should still be familiar of the risks involved with HCI Group. In terms of investment risks, we've identified 2 warning signs with HCI Group and understanding them should be part of your investment process.

A common investment mistake is buying the first interesting stock you see. Here you can find a list of promising dividend stocks with a greater than 2% yield and an upcoming dividend.

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. 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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team@simplywallst.com.