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Is Mindteck (India) Limited's (NSE:MINDTECK) 3.5% Dividend Sustainable?

Simply Wall St

Today we'll take a closer look at Mindteck (India) Limited (NSE:MINDTECK) 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. If you are hoping to live on the income from dividends, it's important to be a lot more stringent with your investments than the average punter.

With a five-year payment history and a 3.5% yield, many investors probably find Mindteck (India) intriguing. We'd agree the yield does look enticing. Remember though, given the recent drop in its share price, Mindteck (India)'s yield will look higher, even though the market may now be expecting a decline in its long-term prospects. Some simple research can reduce the risk of buying Mindteck (India) for its dividend - read on to learn more.

Explore this interactive chart for our latest analysis on Mindteck (India)!

NSEI:MINDTECK Historical Dividend Yield, September 7th 2019

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. As a result, we should always investigate whether a company can afford its dividend, measured as a percentage of a company's net income after tax. Mindteck (India) paid out 94% of its profit as dividends, over the trailing twelve month period. With a payout ratio this high, we'd say its dividend is not well covered by earnings. This may be fine if earnings are growing, but it might not take much of a downturn for the dividend to come under pressure.

Another important check we do is to see if the free cash flow generated is sufficient to pay the dividend. Last year, Mindteck (India) paid a dividend while reporting negative free cash flow. While there may be an explanation, we think this behaviour is generally not sustainable.

With a strong net cash balance, Mindteck (India) investors may not have much to worry about in the near term from a dividend perspective.

Consider getting our latest analysis on Mindteck (India)'s financial position here.

Dividend Volatility

One of the major risks of relying on dividend income, is the potential for a company to struggle financially and cut its dividend. Not only is your income cut, but the value of your investment declines as well - nasty. Mindteck (India) has been paying a dividend for the past five years. Its most recent annual dividend was ₹1.00 per share, effectively flat on its first payment five years ago.

It's good to see at least some dividend growth. Yet with a relatively short dividend paying history, we wouldn't want to depend on this dividend too heavily.

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. Over the past five years, it looks as though Mindteck (India)'s EPS have declined at around 32% a year. A sharp decline in earnings per share is not great from from a dividend perspective, as even conservative payout ratios can come under pressure if earnings fall far enough.

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. It's a concern to see that the company paid out such a high percentage of its earnings and cashflow as dividends. Second, the company has not been able to generate earnings growth, and its history of dividend payments too short for us to thoroughly evaluate the dividend's consistency across an economic cycle. Using these criteria, Mindteck (India) looks quite suboptimal from a dividend investment perspective.

Now, if you want to look closer, it would be worth checking out our free research on Mindteck (India) 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.