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Here's Why We're Wary Of Buying Südwestdeutsche Salzwerke AG's (FRA:SSH) For Its Upcoming Dividend

Simply Wall St

Some investors rely on dividends for growing their wealth, and if you're one of those dividend sleuths, you might be intrigued to know that Südwestdeutsche Salzwerke AG (FRA:SSH) is about to go ex-dividend in just 4 days. Ex-dividend means that investors that purchase the stock on or after the 1st of June will not receive this dividend, which will be paid on the 4th of June.

Südwestdeutsche Salzwerke's next dividend payment will be €1.60 per share. Last year, in total, the company distributed €1.60 to shareholders. Last year's total dividend payments show that Südwestdeutsche Salzwerke has a trailing yield of 2.4% on the current share price of €67. Dividends are an important source of income to many shareholders, but the health of the business is crucial to maintaining those dividends. That's why we should always check whether the dividend payments appear sustainable, and if the company is growing.

View our latest analysis for Südwestdeutsche Salzwerke

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. Südwestdeutsche Salzwerke 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. Considering the lack of profitability, we also need to check if the company generated enough cash flow to cover the dividend payment. If Südwestdeutsche Salzwerke 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 company paid out 104% of its free cash flow over the last year, which we think is outside the ideal range for most businesses. Companies usually need cash more than they need earnings - expenses don't pay themselves - so it's not great to see it paying out so much of its cash flow.

Click here to see how much of its profit Südwestdeutsche Salzwerke paid out over the last 12 months.

DB:SSH Historical Dividend Yield May 27th 2020

Have Earnings And Dividends Been Growing?

Companies that aren't growing their earnings can still be valuable, but it is even more important to assess the sustainability of the dividend if it looks like the company will struggle to grow. If business enters a downturn and the dividend is cut, the company could see its value fall precipitously. Südwestdeutsche Salzwerke reported a loss last year, and the general trend suggests its earnings have also been declining in recent years, making us wonder if the dividend is at risk.

Many investors will assess a company's dividend performance by evaluating how much the dividend payments have changed over time. Südwestdeutsche Salzwerke has delivered an average of 9.4% per year annual increase in its dividend, based on the past ten years of dividend payments.

We update our analysis on Südwestdeutsche Salzwerke every 24 hours, so you can always get the latest insights on its financial health, here.

To Sum It Up

Should investors buy Südwestdeutsche Salzwerke for the upcoming dividend? First, it's not great to see the company paying a dividend despite being loss-making over the last year. Second, the dividend was not well covered by cash flow." It's not the most attractive proposition from a dividend perspective, and we'd probably give this one a miss for now.

So if you're still interested in Südwestdeutsche Salzwerke despite it's poor dividend qualities, you should be well informed on some of the risks facing this stock. Our analysis shows 2 warning signs for Südwestdeutsche Salzwerke that we strongly recommend you have a look at before investing in the company.

A common investment mistake is buying the first interesting stock you see. Here you can find a list of promising dividend stocks with a greater than 2% yield and an upcoming dividend.

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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. 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. Thank you for reading.