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Don't Buy JOYY Inc. (NASDAQ:YY) For Its Next Dividend Without Doing These Checks

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Readers hoping to buy JOYY Inc. (NASDAQ:YY) for its dividend will need to make their move shortly, as the stock is about to trade ex-dividend. The ex-dividend date occurs one day before the record date which is the day on which shareholders need to be on the company's books in order to receive a dividend. The ex-dividend date is an important date to be aware of as any purchase of the stock made on or after this date might mean a late settlement that doesn't show on the record date. Therefore, if you purchase JOYY's shares on or after the 9th of September, you won't be eligible to receive the dividend, when it is paid on the 29th of September.

The company's next dividend payment will be US$0.51 per share. Last year, in total, the company distributed US$2.04 to shareholders. Looking at the last 12 months of distributions, JOYY has a trailing yield of approximately 3.2% on its current stock price of $64.6. We love seeing companies pay a dividend, but it's also important to be sure that laying the golden eggs isn't going to kill our golden goose! We need to see whether the dividend is covered by earnings and if it's growing.

Check out our latest analysis for JOYY

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. JOYY paid a dividend last year despite being unprofitable. This might be a one-off event, but it's not a sustainable state of affairs in the long run. Given that the company reported a loss last year, we now need to see if it generated enough free cash flow to fund the dividend. If JOYY didn't generate enough cash to pay the dividend, then it must have either paid from cash in the bank or by borrowing money, neither of which is sustainable in the long term. The good news is it paid out just 19% of its free cash flow in the last year.

Click here to see the company's payout ratio, plus analyst estimates of its future dividends.

historic-dividend
historic-dividend

Have Earnings And Dividends Been Growing?

Companies with falling earnings are riskier for dividend shareholders. Investors love dividends, so if earnings fall and the dividend is reduced, expect a stock to be sold off heavily at the same time. JOYY was unprofitable last year and, unfortunately, the general trend suggests its earnings have been in decline over the last five years, making us wonder if the dividend is sustainable at all.

Unfortunately JOYY has only been paying a dividend for a year or so, so there's not much of a history to draw insight from.

Remember, you can always get a snapshot of JOYY's financial health, by checking our visualisation of its financial health, here.

To Sum It Up

Should investors buy JOYY for the upcoming dividend? We're a bit uncomfortable with it paying a dividend while being loss-making. However, we note that the dividend was covered by cash flow. Bottom line: JOYY has some unfortunate characteristics that we think could lead to sub-optimal outcomes for dividend investors.

With that in mind though, if the poor dividend characteristics of JOYY don't faze you, it's worth being mindful of the risks involved with this business. Every company has risks, and we've spotted 2 warning signs for JOYY you should know about.

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.

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.