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Know This Before Buying ADA Société Anonyme (EPA:ALADA) For Its Dividend

Simply Wall St

Is ADA Société Anonyme (EPA:ALADA) a good dividend stock? How can we tell? Dividend paying companies with growing earnings can be highly rewarding in the long term. 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.

In this case, ADA Société Anonyme likely looks attractive to dividend investors, given its 9.5% dividend yield and nine-year payment history. It sure looks interesting on these metrics - but there's always more to the story . Some simple research can reduce the risk of buying ADA Société Anonyme for its dividend - read on to learn more.

Explore this interactive chart for our latest analysis on ADA Société Anonyme!

ENXTPA:ALADA Historical Dividend Yield, January 11th 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. Comparing dividend payments to a company's net profit after tax is a simple way of reality-checking whether a dividend is sustainable. ADA Société Anonyme paid out 104% 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.

We also measure dividends paid against a company's levered free cash flow, to see if enough cash was generated to cover the dividend. Unfortunately, while ADA Société Anonyme 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.

Consider getting our latest analysis on ADA Société Anonyme's financial position here.

Dividend Volatility

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. Looking at the last decade of data, we can see that ADA Société Anonyme paid its first dividend at least nine years ago. Although it has been paying a dividend for several years now, the dividend has been cut at least once, and we're cautious about the consistency of its dividend across a full economic cycle. During the past nine-year period, the first annual payment was €0.10 in 2011, compared to €1.00 last year. This works out to be a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 29% a year over that time. The dividends haven't grown at precisely 29% 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

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? ADA Société Anonyme has grown its earnings per share at 3.1% per annum over the past five years. This level of earnings growth is low, and the company is paying out 104% of its profit. As they say in finance, 'past performance is not indicative of future performance', but we are not confident a company with limited earnings growth and a high payout ratio will be a star dividend-payer over the next decade.

Conclusion

Dividend investors should always want to know if a) a company's dividends are affordable, b) if there is a track record of consistent payments, and c) if the dividend is capable of growing. It's a concern to see that the company paid out such a high percentage of its earnings and cashflow as dividends. Unfortunately, earnings growth has also been mediocre, and the company has cut its dividend at least once in the past. Using these criteria, ADA Société Anonyme looks quite suboptimal from a dividend investment perspective.

See if management have their own wealth at stake, by checking insider shareholdings in ADA Société Anonyme stock.

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.