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How Does Impro Precision Industries Limited (HKG:1286) Fare As A Dividend Stock?

Simply Wall St

Dividend paying stocks like Impro Precision Industries Limited (HKG:1286) 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. If you are hoping to live on your dividends, it's important to be more stringent with your investments than the average punter. Regular readers know we like to apply the same approach to each dividend stock, and we hope you'll find our analysis useful.

Impro Precision Industries has only been paying a dividend for a year or so, so investors might be curious about its 2.7% yield. There are a few simple ways to reduce the risks of buying Impro Precision Industries for its dividend, and we'll go through these below.

Click the interactive chart for our full dividend analysis

SEHK:1286 Historical Dividend Yield April 26th 2020

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. Impro Precision Industries paid out 23% of its profit as dividends, over the trailing twelve month period. Given the low payout ratio, it is hard to envision the dividend coming under threat, barring a catastrophe.

Another important check we do is to see if the free cash flow generated is sufficient to pay the dividend. Impro Precision Industries paid out a conservative 34% of its free cash flow as dividends last year. It's encouraging to see that the dividend is covered by both profit and cash flow. This generally suggests the dividend is sustainable, as long as earnings don't drop precipitously.

We update our data on Impro Precision Industries 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. This company has been paying a dividend for less than 2 years, which we think is too soon to consider it a reliable dividend stock. The dividend has fallen 20% over that period.

We struggle to make a case for buying Impro Precision Industries for its dividend, given that payments have shrunk over the past one years.

Dividend Growth Potential

Examining whether the dividend is affordable and stable is important. However, it's also important to assess if earnings per share (EPS) are growing. Growing EPS can help maintain or increase the purchasing power of the dividend over the long run. Impro Precision Industries has grown its earnings per share at 7.1% per annum over the past five years. With a decent amount of growth and a low payout ratio, we think this bodes well for Impro Precision Industries's prospects of growing its dividend payments in the future.

We'd also point out that Impro Precision Industries issued a meaningful number of new shares in the past year. Trying to grow the dividend when issuing new shares reminds us of the ancient Greek tale of Sisyphus - perpetually pushing a boulder uphill. Companies that consistently issue new shares are often suboptimal from a dividend perspective.

Conclusion

To summarise, shareholders should always check that Impro Precision Industries's dividends are affordable, that its dividend payments are relatively stable, and that it has decent prospects for growing its earnings and dividend. Firstly, we like that Impro Precision Industries has low and conservative payout ratios. Unfortunately, earnings growth has also been mediocre, and we think it has not been paying dividends long enough to demonstrate resilience across economic cycles. Overall we think Impro Precision Industries is an interesting dividend stock, although it could be better.

Market movements attest to how highly valued a consistent dividend policy is compared to one which is more unpredictable. At the same time, there are other factors our readers should be conscious of before pouring capital into a stock. To that end, Impro Precision Industries has 3 warning signs (and 1 which is potentially serious) we think you should know about.

We have also put together a list of global stocks with a market capitalisation above $1bn and yielding more 3%.

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.

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. Thank you for reading.