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Today we'll take a closer look at Tyman plc (LON:TYMN) 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.
In this case, Tyman likely looks attractive to dividend investors, given its 5.2% dividend yield and nine-year payment history. It sure looks interesting on these metrics - but there's always more to the story . Before you buy any stock for its dividend however, you should always remember Warren Buffett's two rules: 1) Don't lose money, and 2) Remember rule #1. We'll run through some checks below to help with this.
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. Tyman paid out 134% of its profit as dividends, over the trailing twelve month period. Unless there are extenuating circumstances, from the perspective of an investor who hopes to own the company for many years, a payout ratio of above 100% is definitely a concern.
In addition to comparing dividends against profits, we should inspect whether the company generated enough cash to pay its dividend. Tyman's cash payout ratio in the last year was 28%, which suggests dividends were well covered by cash generated by the business. It's disappointing to see that the dividend was not covered by profits, but cash is more important from a dividend sustainability perspective, and Tyman fortunately did generate enough cash to fund its dividend. Still, if the company repeatedly paid a dividend greater than its profits, we'd be concerned. Extraordinarily few companies are capable of persistently paying a dividend that is greater than their profits.
Is Tyman's Balance Sheet Risky?
As Tyman's dividend was not well covered by earnings, we need to check its balance sheet for signs of financial distress. A rough way to check this is with these two simple ratios: a) net debt divided by EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation), and b) 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). Tyman has net debt of 2.12 times its EBITDA. Using debt can accelerate business growth, but also increases the risks.
Net interest cover can be calculated by dividing earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) by the company's net interest expense. Interest cover of 2.75 times its interest expense is starting to become a concern for Tyman, and be aware that lenders may place additional restrictions on the company as well.
Remember, you can always get a snapshot of Tyman'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. Looking at the last decade of data, we can see that Tyman paid its first dividend at least nine years ago. It's good to see that Tyman has been paying a dividend for a number of years. However, the dividend has been cut at least once in the past, and we're concerned that what has been cut once, could be cut again. During the past nine-year period, the first annual payment was UK£0.02 in 2011, compared to UK£0.12 last year. This works out to be a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 22% a year over that time. The dividends haven't grown at precisely 22% every year, but this is a useful way to average out the historical rate of growth.
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
Given that the dividend has been cut in the past, we need to check if earnings are growing and if that might lead to stronger dividends in the future. Strong earnings per share (EPS) growth might encourage our interest in the company despite fluctuating dividends, which is why it's great to see Tyman has grown its earnings per share at 10% per annum over the past five years. With a payout ratio of 134%, Tyman is paying out dividends substantially greater than what it earned in profit.
To summarise, shareholders should always check that Tyman's dividends are affordable, that its dividend payments are relatively stable, and that it has decent prospects for growing its earnings and dividend. We're not keen on the fact that Tyman paid out such a high percentage of its income, although its cashflow is in better shape. 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. While we're not hugely bearish on it, overall we think there are potentially better dividend stocks than Tyman out there.
Earnings growth generally bodes well for the future value of company dividend payments. See if the 7 Tyman analysts we track are forecasting continued growth with our free report on analyst estimates for the company.
If you are a dividend investor, you might also want to look at our curated list of dividend stocks yielding above 3%.
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.
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