Could JK Tyre & Industries Limited (NSE:JKTYRE) 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. Yet sometimes, investors buy a stock for its dividend and lose money because the share price falls by more than they earned in dividend payments.
While JK Tyre & Industries's 2.7% dividend yield is not the highest, we think its lengthy payment history is quite interesting. Remember though, given the recent drop in its share price, JK Tyre & Industries's yield will look higher, even though the market may now be expecting a decline in its long-term prospects. Some simple analysis can offer a lot of insights when buying a company for its dividend, and we'll go through this 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. As a result, we should always investigate whether a company can afford its dividend, measured as a percentage of a company's net income after tax. In the last year, JK Tyre & Industries paid out 27% of its profit as dividends. This is a middling range that strikes a nice balance between paying dividends to shareholders, and retaining enough earnings to invest in future growth. One of the risks is that management reinvests the retained capital poorly instead of paying a higher 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. JK Tyre & Industries paid out 15% of its free cash flow as dividends last year, which is conservative and suggests the dividend is sustainable. 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.
Is JK Tyre & Industries's Balance Sheet Risky?
As JK Tyre & Industries 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 is a measure of a company's total debt. Net interest cover measures the ability to meet interest payments. Essentially we check that a) the company does not have too much debt, and b) that it can afford to pay the interest. JK Tyre & Industries has net debt of 5.53 times its EBITDA, which implies meaningful risk if interest rates rise of earnings decline.
We calculated its interest cover by measuring its earnings before interest and tax (EBIT), and dividing this by the company's net interest expense. Interest cover of 1.40 times its interest expense is starting to become a concern for JK Tyre & Industries, and be aware that lenders may place additional restrictions on the company as well. High debt and weak interest cover are not a great combo, and we would be cautious of relying on this company's dividend while these metrics persist.
Remember, you can always get a snapshot of JK Tyre & Industries's latest financial position, by checking our visualisation of its financial health.
One of the major risks of relying on dividend income, is the potential for a company to struggle financially and cut its dividend. Not only is your income cut, but the value of your investment declines as well - nasty. JK Tyre & Industries has been paying dividends for a long time, but for the purpose of this analysis, we only examine the past 10 years of payments. Its dividend payments have fallen by 20% or more on at least one occasion over the past ten years. During the past ten-year period, the first annual payment was ₹0.54 in 2009, compared to ₹1.50 last year. Dividends per share have grown at approximately 11% per year over this time. The growth in dividends has not been linear, but the CAGR is a decent approximation of the rate of change over this time frame.
So, its dividends have grown at a rapid rate over this time, but payments have been cut in the past. The stock may still be worth considering as part of a diversified dividend portfolio.
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? JK Tyre & Industries's earnings per share have shrunk at 15% a year over the past five years. With this kind of significant decline, we always wonder what has changed in the business. Dividends are about stability, and JK Tyre & Industries's earnings per share, which support the dividend, have been anything but stable.
We'd also point out that JK Tyre & Industries issued a meaningful number of new shares in the past year. Trying to grow the dividend when issuing new shares reminds us of the ancient Greek tale of Sisyphus - perpetually pushing a boulder uphill. Companies that consistently issue new shares are often suboptimal from a dividend perspective.
To summarise, shareholders should always check that JK Tyre & Industries's dividends are affordable, that its dividend payments are relatively stable, and that it has decent prospects for growing its earnings and dividend. It's great to see that JK Tyre & Industries is paying out a low percentage of its earnings and cash flow. Unfortunately, the company has not been able to generate earnings per share growth, and cut its dividend at least once in the past. In sum, we find it hard to get excited about JK Tyre & Industries from a dividend perspective. It's not that we think it's a bad business; just that there are other companies that perform better on these criteria.
Given that earnings are not growing, the dividend does not look nearly so attractive. See if the 4 analysts are forecasting a turnaround in our free collection of analyst estimates here.
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 email@example.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.