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What To Know Before Buying Banca Generali S.p.A. (BIT:BGN) For Its Dividend

Simply Wall St

Dividend paying stocks like Banca Generali S.p.A. (BIT:BGN) tend to be popular with investors, and for good reason - some research suggests a significant amount of all stock market returns come from reinvested dividends. Yet sometimes, investors buy a popular dividend stock because of its yield, and then lose money if the company's dividend doesn't live up to expectations.

In this case, Banca Generali likely looks attractive to investors, given its 4.1% dividend yield and a payment history of over ten years. We'd guess that plenty of investors have purchased it for the income. Some simple analysis can offer a lot of insights when buying a company for its dividend, and we'll go through this below.

Explore this interactive chart for our latest analysis on Banca Generali!

BIT:BGN Historical Dividend Yield, January 12th 2020

Payout ratios

Dividends are typically paid from company earnings. If a company pays more in dividends than it earned, 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. Looking at the data, we can see that 60% of Banca Generali's profits were paid out as dividends in the last 12 months. This is a healthy payout ratio, and while it does limit the amount of earnings that can be reinvested in the business, there is also some room to lift the payout ratio over time.

Remember, you can always get a snapshot of Banca Generali's latest financial position, by checking our visualisation of its financial health.

Dividend Volatility

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. For the purpose of this article, we only scrutinise the last decade of Banca Generali's dividend payments. The dividend has been stable over the past 10 years, which is great. We think this could suggest some resilience to the business and its dividends. During the past ten-year period, the first annual payment was €0.06 in 2010, compared to €1.25 last year. Dividends per share have grown at approximately 35% per year over this time.

It's rare to find a company that has grown its dividends rapidly over ten years and not had any notable cuts, but Banca Generali has done it, which we really like.

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. It's good to see Banca Generali has been growing its earnings per share at 12% a year over the past five years. Earnings per share have been growing rapidly, but given that it is paying out more than half of its earnings as dividends, we wonder how Banca Generali will keep funding its growth projects in the future.

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. Banca Generali's payout ratio is within an average range for most market participants. That said, we were glad to see it growing earnings and paying a fairly consistent dividend. Banca Generali has a credible record on several fronts, but falls slightly short of our standards for a dividend stock.

Companies that are growing earnings tend to be the best dividend stocks over the long term. See what the 6 analysts we track are forecasting for Banca Generali for free with public analyst estimates for the company.

Looking for more high-yielding dividend ideas? Try our curated list of dividend stocks with a yield above 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.