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It Might Not Be A Great Idea To Buy Monadelphous Group Limited (ASX:MND) For Its Next Dividend

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Monadelphous Group Limited (ASX:MND) is about to trade ex-dividend in the next two days. You can purchase shares before the 4th of March in order to receive the dividend, which the company will pay on the 26th of March.

Monadelphous Group's next dividend payment will be AU$0.24 per share, and in the last 12 months, the company paid a total of AU$0.37 per share. Last year's total dividend payments show that Monadelphous Group has a trailing yield of 3.1% on the current share price of A$11.8. Dividends are an important source of income to many shareholders, but the health of the business is crucial to maintaining those dividends. That's why we should always check whether the dividend payments appear sustainable, and if the company is growing.

Check out our latest analysis for Monadelphous Group

Dividends are typically paid from company earnings. If a company pays more in dividends than it earned in profit, then the dividend could be unsustainable. Its dividend payout ratio is 88% of profit, which means the company is paying out a majority of its earnings. The relatively limited profit reinvestment could slow the rate of future earnings growth. We'd be worried about the risk of a drop in earnings. That said, even highly profitable companies sometimes might not generate enough cash to pay the dividend, which is why we should always check if the dividend is covered by cash flow. Dividends consumed 61% of the company's free cash flow last year, which is within a normal range for most dividend-paying organisations.

It's positive to see that Monadelphous 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.

Click here to see the company's payout ratio, plus analyst estimates of its future dividends.

historic-dividend
historic-dividend

Have Earnings And Dividends Been Growing?

Businesses with shrinking earnings are tricky from a dividend perspective. If earnings decline and the company is forced to cut its dividend, investors could watch the value of their investment go up in smoke. Monadelphous Group's earnings per share have fallen at approximately 18% a year over the previous five years. Such a sharp decline casts doubt on the future sustainability of the dividend.

Many investors will assess a company's dividend performance by evaluating how much the dividend payments have changed over time. Monadelphous Group's dividend payments per share have declined at 7.8% per year on average over the past 10 years, which is uninspiring. While it's not great that earnings and dividends per share have fallen in recent years, we're encouraged by the fact that management has trimmed the dividend rather than risk over-committing the company in a risky attempt to maintain yields to shareholders.

The Bottom Line

Is Monadelphous Group worth buying for its dividend? It's never good to see earnings per share shrinking, but at least the dividend payout ratios appear reasonable. We're aware though that if earnings continue to decline, the dividend could be at risk. It's not that we think Monadelphous Group is a bad company, but these characteristics don't generally lead to outstanding dividend performance.

Although, if you're still interested in Monadelphous Group and want to know more, you'll find it very useful to know what risks this stock faces. Every company has risks, and we've spotted 2 warning signs for Monadelphous Group you should know about.

We wouldn't recommend just buying the first dividend stock you see, though. Here's a list of interesting dividend stocks with a greater than 2% yield and an upcoming dividend.

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. 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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.