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How Does Cargotec Corporation (HEL:CGCBV) Fare As A Dividend Stock?

Simply Wall St

Dividend paying stocks like Cargotec Corporation (HEL:CGCBV) 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. Yet sometimes, investors buy a stock for its dividend and lose money because the share price falls by more than they earned in dividend payments.

A high yield and a long history of paying dividends is an appealing combination for Cargotec. We'd guess that plenty of investors have purchased it for the income. The company also bought back stock equivalent to around 0.7% of market capitalisation this year. There are a few simple ways to reduce the risks of buying Cargotec for its dividend, and we'll go through these below.

Explore this interactive chart for our latest analysis on Cargotec!

HLSE:CGCBV Historical Dividend Yield, August 14th 2019

Payout ratios

Dividends are typically paid from company earnings. If a company pays more in dividends than it earned, 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. Cargotec paid out 54% of its profit as dividends, over the trailing twelve month period. This is a healthy payout ratio, and while it does limit the amount of earnings that can be reinvested in the business, there is also some room to lift the payout ratio over time.

In addition to comparing dividends against profits, we should inspect whether the company generated enough cash to pay its dividend. Cargotec paid out 262% of its free cash flow last year, which we think is concerning if cash flows do not improve. Paying out such a high percentage of cash flow suggests that the dividend was funded from either cash at bank or by borrowing, neither of which is desirable over the long term. Cargotec paid out less in dividends than it reported in profits, but unfortunately it didn't generate enough free cash flow to cover the dividend. Cash is king, as they say, and were Cargotec to repeatedly pay dividends that aren't well covered by cashflow, we would consider this a warning sign.

Is Cargotec's Balance Sheet Risky?

As Cargotec has a meaningful amount of debt, we need to check its balance sheet to see if the company might have debt risks. A rough way to check this is with these two simple ratios: a) net debt divided by EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation), and b) net interest cover. Net debt to EBITDA measures total debt load relative to company earnings (lower = less debt), while net interest cover measures the ability to pay interest on the debt (higher = greater ability to pay interest costs). Cargotec has net debt of 2.81 times its EBITDA. Using debt can accelerate business growth, but also increases the risks.

We calculated its interest cover by measuring its earnings before interest and tax (EBIT), and dividing this by the company's net interest expense. Cargotec has interest cover of more than 12 times its interest expense, which we think is quite strong.

We update our data on Cargotec every 24 hours, so you can always get our latest analysis of its financial health, here.

Dividend Volatility

One of the major risks of relying on dividend income, is the potential for a company to struggle financially and cut its dividend. Not only is your income cut, but the value of your investment declines as well - nasty. For the purpose of this article, we only scrutinise the last decade of Cargotec's dividend payments. This dividend has been unstable, which we define as having fallen by at least 20% one or more times over this time. During the past ten-year period, the first annual payment was €0.60 in 2009, compared to €1.10 last year. Dividends per share have grown at approximately 6.2% per year over this time. The growth in dividends has not been linear, but the CAGR is a decent approximation of the rate of change over this time frame.

Dividends have grown at a reasonable rate, but with at least one substantial cut in the payments, we're not certain this dividend stock would be ideal for someone intending to live on the income.

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 Cargotec has been growing its earnings per share at 18% a year over the past 5 years. Earnings per share have been growing rapidly, but given that it is paying out more than half of its earnings as dividends, we wonder how Cargotec will keep funding its growth projects in the future.

Conclusion

Dividend investors should always want to know if a) a company's dividends are affordable, b) if there is a track record of consistent payments, and c) if the dividend is capable of growing. First, the company has a payout ratio that was within an average range for most dividend stocks, but it paid out virtually all of its generated cash flow. Unfortunately, the company has not been able to generate earnings per share growth, and cut its dividend at least once in the past. Ultimately, Cargotec comes up short on our dividend analysis. It's not that we think it is a bad company - just that there are likely more appealing dividend prospects out there on this analysis.

Earnings growth generally bodes well for the future value of company dividend payments. See if the 7 Cargotec analysts we track are forecasting continued growth with our free report on analyst estimates for the company.

We have also put together a list of global stocks with a market capitalisation above $1bn and yielding more 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.