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Dividend Investors: Don't Be Too Quick To Buy Pak Fah Yeow International Limited (HKG:239) For Its Upcoming Dividend

Simply Wall St

Pak Fah Yeow International Limited (HKG:239) is about to trade ex-dividend in the next 4 days. Ex-dividend means that investors that purchase the stock on or after the 29th of July will not receive this dividend, which will be paid on the 25th of October.

Pak Fah Yeow International's upcoming dividend is HK$0.028 a share, following on from the last 12 months, when the company distributed a total of HK$0.10 per share to shareholders. Calculating the last year's worth of payments shows that Pak Fah Yeow International has a trailing yield of 3.4% on the current share price of HK$3.01. Dividends are a major contributor to investment returns for long term holders, but only if the dividend continues to be paid. As a result, readers should always check whether Pak Fah Yeow International has been able to grow its dividends, or if the dividend might be cut.

Check out our latest analysis for Pak Fah Yeow International

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. Its dividend payout ratio is 87% of profit, which means the company is paying out a majority of its earnings. The relatively limited profit reinvestment could slow the rate of future earnings growth We'd be worried about the risk of a drop in earnings. A useful secondary check can be to evaluate whether Pak Fah Yeow International generated enough free cash flow to afford its dividend. Over the last year, it paid out more than three-quarters (82%) of its free cash flow generated, which is fairly high and may be starting to limit reinvestment in the business.

It's positive to see that Pak Fah Yeow International's dividend is covered by both profits and cash flow, since this is generally a sign that the dividend is sustainable, and a lower payout ratio usually suggests a greater margin of safety before the dividend gets cut.

Click here to see how much of its profit Pak Fah Yeow International paid out over the last 12 months.

SEHK:239 Historical Dividend Yield, July 24th 2019

Have Earnings And Dividends Been Growing?

When earnings decline, dividend companies become much harder to analyse and own safely. If business enters a downturn and the dividend is cut, the company could see its value fall precipitously. With that in mind, we're discomforted by Pak Fah Yeow International's 12% per annum decline in earnings in the past five years. Such a sharp decline casts doubt on the future sustainability of the dividend.

The main way most investors will assess a company's dividend prospects is by checking the historical rate of dividend growth. Pak Fah Yeow International has delivered 9.1% dividend growth per year on average over the past 10 years. The only way to pay higher dividends when earnings are shrinking is either to pay out a larger percentage of profits, spend cash from the balance sheet, or borrow the money. Pak Fah Yeow International is already paying out 87% of its profits, and with shrinking earnings we think it's unlikely that this dividend will grow quickly in the future.

The Bottom Line

From a dividend perspective, should investors buy or avoid Pak Fah Yeow International? While earnings per share are shrinking, it's encouraging to see that at least Pak Fah Yeow International's dividend appears sustainable, with earnings and cashflow payout ratios that are within reasonable bounds. With the way things are shaping up from a dividend perspective, we'd be inclined to steer clear of Pak Fah Yeow International.

Want to learn more about Pak Fah Yeow International's dividend performance? Check out this visualisation of its historical revenue and earnings growth.

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.

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.