Could Bank of Zhengzhou Co., Ltd. (HKG:6196) 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. Unfortunately, it's common for investors to be enticed in by the seemingly attractive yield, and lose money when the company has to cut its dividend payments.
With a goodly-sized dividend yield despite a relatively short payment history, investors might be wondering if Bank of Zhengzhou is a new dividend aristocrat in the making. It sure looks interesting on these metrics - but there's always more to the story . Some simple research can reduce the risk of buying Bank of Zhengzhou for its dividend - read on to learn more.
Dividends are usually paid out of company earnings. If a company is paying more than it earns, 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. Bank of Zhengzhou paid out 33% of its profit as dividends, over the trailing twelve month period. A medium payout ratio strikes a good balance between paying dividends, and keeping enough back to invest in the business. Plus, there is room to increase the payout ratio over time.
Consider getting our latest analysis on Bank of Zhengzhou's financial position here.
From the perspective of an income investor who wants to earn dividends for many years, there is not much point buying a stock if its dividend is regularly cut or is not reliable. Looking at the data, we can see that Bank of Zhengzhou has been paying a dividend for the past four years. This company's dividend has been unstable, and with a relatively short history, we think it's a little soon to draw strong conclusions about its long term dividend potential. During the past four-year period, the first annual payment was CN¥0.20 in 2016, compared to CN¥0.15 last year. This works out to be a decline of approximately 6.9% per year over that time. Bank of Zhengzhou's dividend hasn't shrunk linearly at 6.9% per annum, but the CAGR is a useful estimate of the historical rate of change.
We struggle to make a case for buying Bank of Zhengzhou for its dividend, given that payments have shrunk over the past four years.
Dividend Growth Potential
With a relatively unstable dividend, and a poor history of shrinking dividends, it's even more important to see if EPS are growing. Bank of Zhengzhou's EPS are effectively flat over the past five years. Flat earnings per share are acceptable for a time, but over the long term, the purchasing power of the company's dividends could be eroded by inflation.
To summarise, shareholders should always check that Bank of Zhengzhou's dividends are affordable, that its dividend payments are relatively stable, and that it has decent prospects for growing its earnings and dividend. We're glad to see Bank of Zhengzhou has a low payout ratio, as this suggests earnings are being reinvested in the business. Earnings per share have been falling, and the company has cut its dividend at least once in the past. From a dividend perspective, this is a cause for concern. While we're not hugely bearish on it, overall we think there are potentially better dividend stocks than Bank of Zhengzhou out there.
Are management backing themselves to deliver performance? Check their shareholdings in Bank of Zhengzhou in our latest insider ownership analysis.
If you are a dividend investor, you might also want to look at our curated list of dividend stocks yielding above 3%.
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.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.
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