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Dividend Investors: Don't Be Too Quick To Buy Oceania Healthcare Limited (NZSE:OCA) For Its Upcoming Dividend

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·4 min read
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It looks like Oceania Healthcare Limited (NZSE:OCA) is about to go ex-dividend in the next 4 days. If you purchase the stock on or after the 9th of February, you won't be eligible to receive this dividend, when it is paid on the 24th of February.

Oceania Healthcare's next dividend payment will be NZ$0.013 per share, on the back of last year when the company paid a total of NZ$0.025 to shareholders. Calculating the last year's worth of payments shows that Oceania Healthcare has a trailing yield of 1.6% on the current share price of NZ$1.56. Dividends are a major contributor to investment returns for long term holders, but only if the dividend continues to be paid. So we need to investigate whether Oceania Healthcare can afford its dividend, and if the dividend could grow.

Check out our latest analysis for Oceania Healthcare

Dividends are typically paid from company earnings. If a company pays more in dividends than it earned in profit, then the dividend could be unsustainable. Oceania Healthcare paid a dividend last year despite being unprofitable. This might be a one-off event, but it's not a sustainable state of affairs in the long run. Considering the lack of profitability, we also need to check if the company generated enough cash flow to cover the dividend payment. If Oceania Healthcare didn't generate enough cash to pay the dividend, then it must have either paid from cash in the bank or by borrowing money, neither of which is sustainable in the long term. The good news is it paid out just 11% of its free cash flow in the last year.

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?

When earnings decline, dividend companies become much harder to analyse and own safely. If earnings fall far enough, the company could be forced to cut its dividend. Oceania Healthcare was unprofitable last year and, unfortunately, the general trend suggests its earnings have been in decline over the last five years, making us wonder if the dividend is sustainable at all.

Many investors will assess a company's dividend performance by evaluating how much the dividend payments have changed over time. Oceania Healthcare has seen its dividend decline 16% per annum on average over the past three years, which is not great to see. It's never nice to see earnings and dividends falling, but at least management has cut the dividend rather than potentially risk the company's health in an attempt to maintain it.

We update our analysis on Oceania Healthcare every 24 hours, so you can always get the latest insights on its financial health, here.

The Bottom Line

Is Oceania Healthcare an attractive dividend stock, or better left on the shelf? First, it's not great to see the company paying a dividend despite being loss-making over the last year. On the plus side, the dividend was covered by free cash flow." Overall it doesn't look like the most suitable dividend stock for a long-term buy and hold investor.

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 Oceania Healthcare. Our analysis shows 3 warning signs for Oceania Healthcare and you should be aware of them before buying any shares.

If you're in the market for dividend stocks, we recommend checking our list of top 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 (at) simplywallst.com.