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Does It Make Sense To Buy Goodman Property Trust (NZSE:GMT) For Its Yield?

Simply Wall St

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Could Goodman Property Trust (NZSE:GMT) 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 stock for its dividend and lose money because the share price falls by more than they earned in dividend payments.

In this case, Goodman Property Trust likely looks attractive to investors, given its 3.3% dividend yield and a payment history of over ten years. We'd guess that plenty of investors have purchased it for the income. Some simple research can reduce the risk of buying Goodman Property Trust for its dividend - read on to learn more.

Explore this interactive chart for our latest analysis on Goodman Property Trust!

NZSE:GMT Historical Dividend Yield, July 15th 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. As a result, we should always investigate whether a company can afford its dividend, measured as a percentage of a company's net income after tax. In the last year, Goodman Property Trust paid out 109% of its profit as dividends. Unless there are extenuating circumstances, from the perspective of an investor who hopes to own the company for many years, a payout ratio of above 100% is definitely a concern.

In addition to comparing dividends against profits, we should inspect whether the company generated enough cash to pay its dividend. Goodman Property Trust paid out 109% of its free cash flow last year, which we think is concerning if cash flows do not improve. As Goodman Property Trust's dividend was not well covered by either earnings or cash flow, we would be concerned that this dividend could be at risk over the long term.

It is worth considering that Goodman Property Trust is a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT). REITs have different rules governing their payments, and are often required to pay out a high portion of their earnings to investors.

Remember, you can always get a snapshot of Goodman Property Trust's latest financial position, by checking our visualisation of its financial health.

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. Goodman Property Trust has been paying dividends for a long time, but for the purpose of this analysis, we only examine the past 10 years of 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 NZ$0.10 in 2009, compared to NZ$0.067 last year. This works out to be a decline of approximately 4.0% per year over that time. Goodman Property Trust's dividend has been cut sharply at least once, so it hasn't fallen by 4.0% every year, but this is a decent approximation of the long term change.

A shrinking dividend over a ten-year period is not ideal, and we'd be concerned about investing in a dividend stock that lacks a solid record of growing dividends per share.

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 Goodman Property Trust has been growing its earnings per share at 17% a year over the past 5 years. Although earnings per share are up nicely Goodman Property Trust is paying out 109% of its earnings as dividends, which we feel is borderline unsustainable without extenuating circumstances.

Conclusion

When we look at a dividend stock, we need to form a judgement on whether the dividend will grow, if the company is able to maintain it in a wide range of economic circumstances, and if the dividend payout is sustainable. We're a bit uncomfortable with Goodman Property Trust paying out a high percentage of both its cashflow and earnings. Next, earnings growth has been good, but unfortunately the dividend has been cut at least once in the past. In summary, Goodman Property Trust has a number of shortcomings that we'd find it hard to get past. Things could change, but we think there are a number of better ideas out there.

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

If you are a dividend investor, you might also want to look at our curated list of dividend stocks yielding above 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.