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Today we'll take a closer look at InterGlobe Aviation Limited (NSE:INDIGO) from a dividend investor's perspective. Owning a strong business and reinvesting the dividends is widely seen as an attractive way of growing your wealth. 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.
Some readers mightn't know much about InterGlobe Aviation's 0.4% dividend, as it has only been paying distributions for the last three years. While it may not look like much, if earnings are growing it could become quite interesting. Remember though, due to the recent spike in its share price, InterGlobe Aviation's yield will look lower, even though the market may now be factoring in an improvement in its long-term prospects. There are a few simple ways to reduce the risks of buying InterGlobe Aviation for its dividend, and we'll go through these below.
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. InterGlobe Aviation paid out 10.0% of its profit as dividends, over the trailing twelve month period. We'd say its dividends are thoroughly covered by earnings.
We also measure dividends paid against a company's levered free cash flow, to see if enough cash was generated to cover the dividend. InterGlobe Aviation's cash payout ratio in the last year was 46%, which suggests dividends were well covered by cash generated by the business. It's positive to see that InterGlobe Aviation's dividend is covered by both profits and cash flow, since this is generally a sign that the dividend is sustainable, and a lower payout ratio usually suggests a greater margin of safety before the dividend gets cut.
Remember, you can always get a snapshot of InterGlobe Aviation's latest financial position, by checking our visualisation of its financial health.
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. 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 three-year period, the first annual payment was ₹15.00 in 2016, compared to ₹6.00 last year. This works out to a decline of approximately 60% over that time.
When a company's per-share dividend falls we question if this reflects poorly on either the business or management. Either way, we find it hard to get excited about a company with a declining dividend.
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. InterGlobe Aviation's earnings per share are up 19% on last year. We're glad to see EPS up on last year, but we're conscious that growth rates typically slow as companies increase in size. Rapid earnings growth and a low payout ratio suggests this company has been effectively reinvesting in its business. Should that continue, this company could have a bright future. We do note though, one year is too short a time to be drawing strong conclusions about a company's future prospects.
We'd also point out that InterGlobe Aviation issued a meaningful number of new shares in the past year. Regularly issuing new shares can be detrimental - it's hard to grow dividends per share when new shares are regularly being created.
To summarise, shareholders should always check that InterGlobe Aviation's dividends are affordable, that its dividend payments are relatively stable, and that it has decent prospects for growing its earnings and dividend. First, we like that the company's dividend payments appear well covered, although the retained capital also needs to be effectively reinvested. We were also glad to see it growing earnings, but it was concerning to see the dividend has been cut at least once in the past. InterGlobe Aviation performs highly under this analysis, although it falls slightly short of our exacting standards. At the right valuation, it could be a solid dividend prospect.
Earnings growth generally bodes well for the future value of company dividend payments. See if the 8 InterGlobe Aviation analysts we track are forecasting continued growth with our free report on analyst estimates for the company.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.