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Is First Derivatives plc (LON:FDP) A Smart Choice For Dividend Investors?

Miguel Kauffman

Dividends play an important role in compounding returns in the long run and end up forming a sizeable part of investment returns. Historically, First Derivatives plc (LON:FDP) has paid a dividend to shareholders. It currently yields 1.1%. Let’s dig deeper into whether First Derivatives should have a place in your portfolio.

See our latest analysis for First Derivatives

5 checks you should do on a dividend stock

When researching a dividend stock, I always follow the following screening criteria:

  • Is it paying an annual yield above 75% of dividend payers?
  • Has its dividend been stable over the past (i.e. no missed payments or significant payout cuts)?
  • Has dividend per share risen in the past couple of years?
  • Is its earnings sufficient to payout dividend at the current rate?
  • Will the company be able to keep paying dividend based on the future earnings growth?
AIM:FDP Historical Dividend Yield January 9th 19

How does First Derivatives fare?

The company currently pays out 55% of its earnings as a dividend, according to its trailing twelve-month data, which means that the dividend is covered by earnings. In the near future, analysts are predicting lower payout ratio of 34% which, assuming the share price stays the same, leads to a dividend yield of around 1.4%. However, EPS should increase to £0.48, meaning that the lower payout ratio does not necessarily implicate a lower dividend payment.

If you want to dive deeper into the sustainability of a certain payout ratio, you may wish to consider the cash flow of the business. A business with strong cash flow can sustain a higher divided payout ratio than a company with weak cash flow.

If dividend is a key criteria in your investment consideration, then you need to make sure the dividend stock you’re eyeing out is reliable in its payments. Not only have dividend payouts from First Derivatives fallen over the past 10 years, it has also been highly volatile during this time, with drops of over 25% in some years. This means that dividend hunters should probably steer clear of the stock, at least for now until the track record improves.

In terms of its peers, First Derivatives has a yield of 1.1%, which is on the low-side for IT stocks.

Next Steps:

Now you know to keep in mind the reason why investors should be careful investing in First Derivatives for the dividend. On the other hand, if you are not strictly just a dividend investor, the stock could still be offering some interesting investment opportunities. Given that this is purely a dividend analysis, I recommend taking sufficient time to understand its core business and determine whether the company and its investment properties suit your overall goals. I’ve put together three relevant factors you should further research:

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for FDP’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for FDP’s outlook.
  2. Valuation: What is FDP worth today? Even if the stock is a cash cow, it’s not worth an infinite price. The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether FDP is currently mispriced by the market.
  3. Dividend Rockstars: Are there better dividend payers with stronger fundamentals out there? Check out our free list of these great stocks here.

To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.

The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com.