The board of Macfarlane Group PLC (LON:MACF) has announced that it will be paying its dividend of £0.009 on the 13th of October, an increased payment from last year's comparable dividend. This takes the annual payment to 1.8% of the current stock price, which is about average for the industry.
Macfarlane Group's Dividend Is Well Covered By Earnings
Solid dividend yields are great, but they only really help us if the payment is sustainable. However, Macfarlane Group's earnings easily cover the dividend. This means that most of its earnings are being retained to grow the business.
If the trend of the last few years continues, EPS will grow by 12.9% over the next 12 months. If the dividend continues on this path, the payout ratio could be 34% by next year, which we think can be pretty sustainable going forward.
While the company has been paying a dividend for a long time, it has cut the dividend at least once in the last 10 years. The dividend has gone from an annual total of £0.0155 in 2012 to the most recent total annual payment of £0.018. This means that it has been growing its distributions at 1.5% per annum over that time. We're glad to see the dividend has risen, but with a limited rate of growth and fluctuations in the payments the total shareholder return may be limited.
The Dividend Looks Likely To Grow
With a relatively unstable dividend, it's even more important to see if earnings per share is growing. Macfarlane Group has seen EPS rising for the last five years, at 13% per annum. Growth in EPS bodes well for the dividend, as does the low payout ratio that the company is currently reporting.
We Really Like Macfarlane Group's Dividend
Overall, we think this could be an attractive income stock, and it is only getting better by paying a higher dividend this year. Earnings are easily covering distributions, and the company is generating plenty of cash. Taking this all into consideration, this looks like it could be a good dividend opportunity.
Investors generally tend to favour companies with a consistent, stable dividend policy as opposed to those operating an irregular one. Meanwhile, despite the importance of dividend payments, they are not the only factors our readers should know when assessing a company. Now, if you want to look closer, it would be worth checking out our free research on Macfarlane Group management tenure, salary, and performance. Is Macfarlane Group not quite the opportunity you were looking for? Why not check out our selection of top dividend stocks.
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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.
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