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What To Know Before Buying Asiaray Media Group Limited (HKG:1993) For Its Dividend

Simply Wall St

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Could Asiaray Media Group Limited (HKG:1993) 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. 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.

With a 1.3% yield and a four-year payment history, investors probably think Asiaray Media Group looks like a reliable dividend stock. A 1.3% yield is not inspiring, but the longer payment history has some appeal. The company also bought back stock during the year, equivalent to approximately 1.3% of the company's market capitalisation at the time. There are a few simple ways to reduce the risks of buying Asiaray Media Group for its dividend, and we'll go through these below.

Click the interactive chart for our full dividend analysis

SEHK:1993 Historical Dividend Yield, June 16th 2019

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. So we need to form a view on if a company's dividend is sustainable, relative to its net profit after tax. In the last year, Asiaray Media Group paid out 28% 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. 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. Asiaray Media Group paid out 66% of its cash flow as dividends last year, which is within a reasonable range for the average corporation. It's positive to see that Asiaray Media Group'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 Asiaray Media Group's latest financial position, by checking our visualisation of its financial health.

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. Asiaray Media Group has been paying a dividend for the past four years. It has only been paying dividends for a few short years, and the dividend has already been cut at least once. This is one income stream we're not ready to live on. During the past four-year period, the first annual payment was HK$0.065 in 2015, compared to HK$0.039 last year. This works out to a decline of approximately 40% over that time.

We struggle to make a case for buying Asiaray Media Group for its dividend, given that payments have shrunk over the past four years.

Dividend Growth Potential

Given that dividend payments have been shrinking like a glacier in a warming world, we need to check if there are some bright spots on the horizon. Over the past five years, it looks as though Asiaray Media Group's EPS have declined at around 19% a year. If earnings continue to decline, the dividend may come under pressure. Every investor should make an assessment of whether the company is taking steps to stabilise the situation.

Conclusion

When we look at a dividend stock, we need to form a judgement on whether the dividend will grow, if the company is able to maintain it in a wide range of economic circumstances, and if the dividend payout is sustainable. Asiaray Media Group's dividend payout ratios are within normal bounds, although we note its cash flow is not as strong as the income statement would suggest. Earnings per share are down, and Asiaray Media Group's dividend has been cut at least once in the past, which is disappointing. While we're not hugely bearish on it, overall we think there are potentially better dividend stocks than Asiaray Media Group out there.

Now, if you want to look closer, it would be worth checking out our free research on Asiaray Media Group management tenure, salary, and performance.

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 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. Thank you for reading.