U.S. Markets closed
  • S&P Futures

    3,443.00
    +10.75 (+0.31%)
     
  • Dow Futures

    28,260.00
    +78.00 (+0.28%)
     
  • Nasdaq Futures

    11,698.50
    +37.75 (+0.32%)
     
  • Russell 2000 Futures

    1,619.00
    +4.20 (+0.26%)
     
  • Crude Oil

    41.51
    +0.05 (+0.12%)
     
  • Gold

    1,913.50
    -1.90 (-0.10%)
     
  • Silver

    24.91
    -0.07 (-0.30%)
     
  • EUR/USD

    1.1833
    +0.0004 (+0.0355%)
     
  • 10-Yr Bond

    0.7970
    +0.0360 (+4.73%)
     
  • Vix

    29.35
    +0.17 (+0.58%)
     
  • GBP/USD

    1.2955
    +0.0008 (+0.0609%)
     
  • USD/JPY

    105.4520
    -0.0180 (-0.0171%)
     
  • BTC-USD

    11,902.48
    +845.47 (+7.65%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    239.12
    +0.21 (+0.09%)
     
  • FTSE 100

    5,889.22
    +4.57 (+0.08%)
     
  • Nikkei 225

    23,567.04
    0.00 (0.00%)
     

Here's Why We're Wary Of Buying Viva Energy Group's (ASX:VEA) For Its Upcoming Dividend

Simply Wall St
·4 mins read

It looks like Viva Energy Group Limited (ASX:VEA) is about to go ex-dividend in the next 4 days. If you purchase the stock on or after the 5th of October, you won't be eligible to receive this dividend, when it is paid on the 13th of October.

The upcoming dividend for Viva Energy Group is AU$0.27 per share, increased from last year's total dividends per share of AU$0.052. 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.

See our latest analysis for Viva Energy Group

Dividends are typically paid out of company income, so if a company pays out more than it earned, its dividend is usually at a higher risk of being cut. Viva Energy Group paid out 118% of profit in the past year, which we think is typically not sustainable unless there are mitigating characteristics such as unusually strong cash flow or a large cash balance. Yet cash flow is typically more important than profit for assessing dividend sustainability, so we should always check if the company generated enough cash to afford its dividend. It paid out more than half (68%) of its free cash flow in the past year, which is within an average range for most companies.

It's good to see that while Viva Energy Group's dividends were not covered by profits, at least they are affordable from a cash perspective. Still, if the company repeatedly paid a dividend greater than its profits, we'd be concerned. Very few companies are able to sustainably pay dividends larger than their reported earnings.

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?

Businesses with shrinking earnings are tricky from a dividend perspective. If earnings fall far enough, the company could be forced to cut its dividend. Viva Energy Group's earnings per share have plummeted approximately 73% a year over the previous five years.

The main way most investors will assess a company's dividend prospects is by checking the historical rate of dividend growth. Viva Energy Group has delivered an average of 4.1% per year annual increase in its dividend, based on the past two years of dividend payments. That's intriguing, but the combination of growing dividends despite declining earnings can typically only be achieved by paying out a larger percentage of profits. Viva Energy Group is already paying out 118% of its profits, and with shrinking earnings we think it's unlikely that this dividend will grow quickly in the future.

Final Takeaway

Has Viva Energy Group got what it takes to maintain its dividend payments? Earnings per share have been shrinking in recent times. Worse, Viva Energy Group's paying out a majority of its earnings and more than half its free cash flow. Positive cash flows are good news but it's not a good combination. It's not an attractive combination from a dividend perspective, and we're inclined to pass on this one for the time being.

Having said that, if you're looking at this stock without much concern for the dividend, you should still be familiar of the risks involved with Viva Energy Group. For example, we've found 3 warning signs for Viva Energy Group that we recommend you consider before investing in the business.

We wouldn't recommend just buying the first dividend stock you see, though. Here's a list of interesting dividend stocks with a greater than 2% yield and an upcoming dividend.

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.

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