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Key Things To Watch Out For If You Are After Minth Group Limited's (HKG:425) 2.6% Dividend

Simply Wall St

Could Minth Group Limited (HKG:425) 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. On the other hand, investors have been known to buy a stock because of its yield, and then lose money if the company's dividend doesn't live up to expectations.

While Minth Group's 2.6% dividend yield is not the highest, we think its lengthy payment history is quite interesting. Some simple analysis can offer a lot of insights when buying a company for its dividend, and we'll go through this below.

Click the interactive chart for our full dividend analysis

SEHK:425 Historical Dividend Yield, February 1st 2020

Payout ratios

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. Minth Group paid out 42% of its profit as dividends, over the trailing twelve month period. A medium payout ratio strikes a good balance between paying dividends, and keeping enough back to invest in the business. Plus, there is room to increase the payout ratio over time.

In addition to comparing dividends against profits, we should inspect whether the company generated enough cash to pay its dividend. With a cash payout ratio of 203%, Minth Group's dividend payments are poorly covered by cash flow. Paying out such a high percentage of cash flow suggests that the dividend was funded from either cash at bank or by borrowing, neither of which is desirable over the long term. Minth Group paid out less in dividends than it reported in profits, but unfortunately it didn't generate enough free cash flow to cover the dividend. Were it to repeatedly pay dividends that were not well covered by cash flow, this could be a risk to Minth Group's ability to maintain its dividend.

While the above analysis focuses on dividends relative to a company's earnings, we do note Minth Group's strong net cash position, which will let it pay larger dividends for a time, should it choose.

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

Dividend Volatility

From the perspective of an income investor who wants to earn dividends for many years, there is not much point buying a stock if its dividend is regularly cut or is not reliable. Minth Group has been paying dividends for a long time, but for the purpose of this analysis, we only examine the past 10 years of 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 CN¥0.13 in 2010, compared to CN¥0.56 last year. This works out to be a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 16% a year over that time.

With rapid dividend growth and no notable cuts to the dividend over a lengthy period of time, we think this company has a lot going for it.

Dividend Growth Potential

While dividend payments have been relatively reliable, it would also be nice if earnings per share (EPS) were growing, as this is essential to maintaining the dividend's purchasing power over the long term. Earnings have grown at around 8.8% a year for the past five years, which is better than seeing them shrink! Earnings per share have been growing at a credible rate. What's more, the payout ratio is reasonable and provides some protection to the dividend, or even the potential to increase it.

Conclusion

To summarise, shareholders should always check that Minth Group'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 Minth Group's low dividend payout ratio, although we're a bit concerned that it paid out a substantially higher percentage of its free cash flow. Next, growing earnings per share and steady dividend payments is a great combination. Overall we think Minth Group is an interesting dividend stock, although it could be better.

Earnings growth generally bodes well for the future value of company dividend payments. See if the 24 Minth Group analysts we track are forecasting continued growth with our free report on analyst estimates for the company.

We have also put together a list of global stocks with a market capitalisation above $1bn and yielding more 3%.

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.

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. Thank you for reading.

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