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Is The Indian Hume Pipe Company Limited (NSE:INDIANHUME) A Smart Choice For Dividend Investors?

Simply Wall St

Dividend paying stocks like The Indian Hume Pipe Company Limited (NSE:INDIANHUME) tend to be popular with investors, and for good reason - some research suggests a significant amount of all stock market returns come from reinvested dividends. If you are hoping to live on your dividends, it's important to be more stringent with your investments than the average punter. Regular readers know we like to apply the same approach to each dividend stock, and we hope you'll find our analysis useful.

A 1.4% yield is nothing to get excited about, but investors probably think the long payment history suggests Indian Hume Pipe has some staying power. Some simple analysis can offer a lot of insights when buying a company for its dividend, and we'll go through this below.

Explore this interactive chart for our latest analysis on Indian Hume Pipe!

NSEI:INDIANHUME Historical Dividend Yield, October 27th 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 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 19% of Indian Hume Pipe's profits were paid out as dividends in the last 12 months. With a low payout ratio, it looks like the dividend is comprehensively covered by earnings.

Another important check we do is to see if the free cash flow generated is sufficient to pay the dividend. Unfortunately, while Indian Hume Pipe pays a dividend, it also reported negative free cash flow last year. While there may be a good reason for this, it's not ideal from a dividend perspective.

Is Indian Hume Pipe's Balance Sheet Risky?

As Indian Hume Pipe has a meaningful amount of debt, we need to check its balance sheet to see if the company might have debt risks. A quick check of its financial situation can be done with two ratios: net debt divided by EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation), and net interest cover. Net debt to EBITDA measures total debt load relative to company earnings (lower = less debt), while net interest cover measures the ability to pay interest on the debt (higher = greater ability to pay interest costs). With net debt of 2.30 times its EBITDA, Indian Hume Pipe's debt burden is within a normal range for most listed companies.

Net interest cover can be calculated by dividing earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) by the company's net interest expense. With EBIT of 3.95 times its interest expense, Indian Hume Pipe's interest cover is starting to look a bit thin.

We update our data on Indian Hume Pipe every 24 hours, so you can always get our latest analysis of its financial health, here.

Dividend Volatility

Before buying a stock for its income, we want to see if the dividends have been stable in the past, and if the company has a track record of maintaining its dividend. For the purpose of this article, we only scrutinise the last decade of Indian Hume Pipe's dividend payments. During this period the dividend has been stable, which could imply the business could have relatively consistent earnings power. During the past ten-year period, the first annual payment was ₹0.85 in 2009, compared to ₹3.60 last year. This works out to be a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 16% a year over that time.

It's rare to find a company that has grown its dividends rapidly over ten years and not had any notable cuts, but Indian Hume Pipe has done it, which we really like.

Dividend Growth Potential

Dividend payments have been consistent over the past few years, but we should always check if earnings per share (EPS) are growing, as this will help maintain the purchasing power of the dividend. It's good to see Indian Hume Pipe has been growing its earnings per share at 30% a year over the past five years. Earnings per share have grown rapidly, and the company is retaining a majority of its earnings. We think this is ideal from an investment perspective, if the company is able to reinvest these earnings effectively.

Conclusion

To summarise, shareholders should always check that Indian Hume Pipe's dividends are affordable, that its dividend payments are relatively stable, and that it has decent prospects for growing its earnings and dividend. Firstly, the company has a conservative payout ratio, although we'd note that its cashflow in the past year was substantially lower than its reported profit. We like that it has been delivering solid improvement in its earnings per share, and relatively consistent dividend payments. Indian Hume Pipe has a number of positive attributes, but it falls slightly short of our (admittedly high) standards. Were there evidence of a strong moat or an attractive valuation, it could still be well worth a look.

Are management backing themselves to deliver performance? Check their shareholdings in Indian Hume Pipe in our latest insider ownership analysis.

Looking for more high-yielding dividend ideas? Try our curated list of dividend stocks with a yield 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.