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How Does Charles Taylor plc (LON:CTR) Fare As A Dividend Stock?

Simply Wall St

Could Charles Taylor plc (LON:CTR) be an attractive dividend share to own for the long haul? Investors are often drawn to strong companies with the idea of reinvesting the dividends. Yet sometimes, investors buy a popular dividend stock because of its yield, and then lose money if the company's dividend doesn't live up to expectations.

In this case, Charles Taylor likely looks attractive to investors, given its 5.4% dividend yield and a payment history of over ten years. It would not be a surprise to discover that many investors buy it for the dividends. Some simple research can reduce the risk of buying Charles Taylor for its dividend - read on to learn more.

Explore this interactive chart for our latest analysis on Charles Taylor!

LSE:CTR Historical Dividend Yield, August 7th 2019

Payout ratios

Companies (usually) pay dividends out of their earnings. If a company is paying more than it earns, the dividend might have to be cut. Comparing dividend payments to a company's net profit after tax is a simple way of reality-checking whether a dividend is sustainable. Although Charles Taylor pays a dividend, it was loss-making during the past year. When a financial business is loss-making and pays a dividend, the dividend is not covered by profits. Its important that investors assess the quality of the company's assets and whether it can return to generating a positive income.

Consider getting our latest analysis on Charles Taylor's financial position here.

Dividend Volatility

Before buying a stock for its income, we want to see if the dividends have been stable in the past, and if the company has a track record of maintaining its dividend. For the purpose of this article, we only scrutinise the last decade of Charles Taylor's dividend payments. Its dividend payments have fallen by 20% or more on at least one occasion over the past ten years. During the past ten-year period, the first annual payment was UK£0.14 in 2009, compared to UK£0.12 last year. This works out to be a decline of approximately 1.7% per year over that time. Charles Taylor's dividend has been cut sharply at least once, so it hasn't fallen by 1.7% every year, but this is a decent approximation of the long term change.

When a company's per-share dividend falls we question if this reflects poorly on either external business conditions, or the company's capital allocation decisions. Either way, we find it hard to get excited about a company with a declining dividend.

Dividend Growth Potential

With a relatively unstable dividend, it's even more important to see if earnings per share (EPS) are growing. Why take the risk of a dividend getting cut, unless there's a good chance of bigger dividends in future? Charles Taylor's earnings per share have shrunk at 18% a year over the past five years. A sharp decline in earnings per share is not great from from a dividend perspective, as even conservative payout ratios can come under pressure if earnings fall far enough.

We'd also point out that Charles Taylor issued a meaningful number of new shares in the past year. Regularly issuing new shares can be detrimental - it's hard to grow dividends per share when new shares are regularly being created.

Conclusion

To summarise, shareholders should always check that Charles Taylor's dividends are affordable, that its dividend payments are relatively stable, and that it has decent prospects for growing its earnings and dividend. Charles Taylor is paying out a dividend despite reporting a loss; clearly a concern. Second, earnings per share have been essentially flat, and its history of dividend payments is chequered - having cut its dividend at least once in the past. Using these criteria, Charles Taylor looks suboptimal from a dividend investment perspective.

Now, if you want to look closer, it would be worth checking out our free research on Charles Taylor management tenure, salary, and performance.

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.