U.S. Markets open in 1 hr 7 mins

Here's What You Should Know About CVR Energy, Inc.'s (NYSE:CVI) 6.8% Dividend Yield

Simply Wall St

Want to participate in a short research study? Help shape the future of investing tools and you could win a $250 gift card!

Could CVR Energy, Inc. (NYSE:CVI) 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. If you are hoping to live on the income from dividends, it's important to be a lot more stringent with your investments than the average punter.

In this case, CVR Energy likely looks attractive to dividend investors, given its 6.8% dividend yield and seven-year payment history. It sure looks interesting on these metrics - but there's always more to the story . There are a few simple ways to reduce the risks of buying CVR Energy for its dividend, and we'll go through these below.

Explore this interactive chart for our latest analysis on CVR Energy!

NYSE:CVI Historical Dividend Yield, May 31st 2019

Payout ratios

Companies (usually) pay dividends out of their earnings. If a company is paying more than it earns, the dividend might have to be cut. So we need to be form a view on if a company's dividend is sustainable, relative to its net profit after tax. Looking at the data, we can see that 87% of CVR Energy's profits were paid out as dividends in the last 12 months. It's paying out most of its earnings, which limits the amount that can be reinvested in the business. This may indicate limited need for further capital within the business, or highlight a commitment to paying a dividend.

We also measure dividends paid against a company's levered free cash flow, to see if enough cash was generated to cover the dividend. Of the free cash flow it generated last year, CVR Energy paid out 34% as dividends, suggesting the dividend is affordable. 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.

Consider getting our latest analysis on CVR Energy's financial position here.

Dividend Volatility

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 CVR Energy has been paying a dividend for the past seven years. It's good to see that CVR Energy has been paying a dividend for a number of years. However, the dividend has been cut at least once in the past, and we're concerned that what has been cut once, could be cut again. During the past seven-year period, the first annual payment was US$0.32 in 2012, compared to US$3.00 last year. This works out to be a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 38% a year over that time. The dividends haven't grown at precisely 38% every year, but this is a useful way to average out the historical rate of growth.

CVR Energy has grown distributions at a rapid rate despite cutting the dividend at least once in the past. Companies that cut once often cut again, but it might be worth considering if the business has turned a corner.

Dividend Growth Potential

With a relatively unstable dividend, it's even more important to see if earnings per share (EPS) are growing. Why take the risk of a dividend getting cut, unless there's a good chance of bigger dividends in future? Over the past five years, it looks as though CVR Energy's EPS have declined at around 4.2% a year. If earnings continue to decline, the dividend may come under pressure. Every investor should make an assessment of whether the company is taking steps to stabilise the situation.

Conclusion

To summarise, shareholders should always check that CVR Energy's dividends are affordable, that its dividend payments are relatively stable, and that it has decent prospects for growing its earnings and dividend. CVR Energy's payout ratios are within a normal range for the average corporation, and we like that its cashflow was stronger than reported profits. Earnings per share are down, and CVR Energy's dividend has been cut at least once in the past, which is disappointing. Ultimately, CVR Energy comes up short on our dividend analysis. It's not that we think it is a bad company - just that there are likely more appealing dividend prospects out there on this analysis.

See if management have their own wealth at stake, by checking insider shareholdings in CVR Energy stock.

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.