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Is Kridhan Infra Limited's (NSE:KRIINFRA) 1.4% Dividend Sustainable?

Simply Wall St

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Today we'll take a closer look at Kridhan Infra Limited (NSE:KRIINFRA) 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. 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.

With a 1.4% yield and a six-year payment history, investors probably think Kridhan Infra looks like a reliable dividend stock. A low yield is generally a turn-off, but if the prospects for earnings growth were strong, investors might be pleasantly surprised by the long-term results. Remember that the recent share price drop will make Kridhan Infra's yield look higher, even though recent events might have impacted the company's prospects. When buying stocks for their dividends, you should always run through the checks below, to see if the dividend looks sustainable.

Click the interactive chart for our full dividend analysis

NSEI:KRIINFRA Historical Dividend Yield, June 19th 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. Comparing dividend payments to a company's net profit after tax is a simple way of reality-checking whether a dividend is sustainable. In the last year, Kridhan Infra paid out 4.4% of its profit as dividends. Given the low payout ratio, it is hard to envision the dividend coming under threat, barring a catastrophe.

Another important check we do is to see if the free cash flow generated is sufficient to pay the dividend. Last year, Kridhan Infra paid a dividend while reporting negative free cash flow. While there may be an explanation, we think this behaviour is generally not sustainable. It's encouraging to see that the dividend is covered by both profit and cash flow. This generally suggests the dividend is sustainable, as long as earnings don't drop precipitously.

Is Kridhan Infra's Balance Sheet Risky?

As Kridhan Infra has a meaningful amount of debt, we need to check its balance sheet to see if the company might have debt risks. A quick way to check a company's financial situation uses these two ratios: net debt divided by EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation), and net interest cover. Net debt to EBITDA measures a company's total debt load relative to its earnings (lower = less debt), while net interest cover measures the company's ability to pay the interest on its debt (higher = greater ability to pay interest costs). With net debt of more than twice its EBITDA, Kridhan Infra has a noticeable amount of debt, although if business stays steady, this may not be overly concerning.

Net interest cover can be calculated by dividing earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) by the company's net interest expense. Interest cover of less than 5x its interest expense is starting to become a concern for Kridhan Infra, and be aware that lenders may place additional restrictions on the company as well.

We update our data on Kridhan Infra 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. Looking at the data, we can see that Kridhan Infra has been paying a dividend for the past six years. Although it has been paying a dividend for several years now, the dividend has been cut at least once by more than 20%, and we're cautious about the consistency of its dividend across a full economic cycle. Its most recent annual dividend was ₹0.20 per share, effectively flat on its first payment six years ago.

Modest growth in the dividend is good to see, but we think this is offset by historical cuts to the payments. It is hard to live on a dividend income if the company's earnings are not consistent.

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. Over the past five years, it looks as though Kridhan Infra's EPS have declined at around 5.2% a year. Declining earnings per share over a number of years is not a great sign for the dividend investor. Without some improvement, this does not bode well for the long term value of a company's dividend.

We'd also point out that Kridhan Infra issued a meaningful number of new shares in the past year. Regularly issuing new shares can be detrimental - it's hard to grow dividends per share when new shares are regularly being created.

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. Kridhan Infra has a low payout ratio, which we like, although it paid out virtually all of its generated cash. Earnings per share have been falling, and the company has cut its dividend at least once in the past. From a dividend perspective, this is a cause for concern. With this information in mind, we think Kridhan Infra may not be an ideal dividend stock.

See if management have their own wealth at stake, by checking insider shareholdings in Kridhan Infra stock.

If you are a dividend investor, you might also want to look at our curated list of dividend stocks yielding 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.