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Is Nectar Lifesciences Limited (NSE:NECLIFE) A Smart Choice For Dividend Investors?

Simply Wall St

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Today we'll take a closer look at Nectar Lifesciences Limited (NSE:NECLIFE) 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.

A 0.3% yield is nothing to get excited about, but investors probably think the long payment history suggests Nectar Lifesciences has some staying power. Before you buy any stock for its dividend however, you should always remember Warren Buffett's two rules: 1) Don't lose money, and 2) Remember rule #1. We'll run through some checks below to help with this.

Click the interactive chart for our full dividend analysis

NSEI:NECLIFE Historical Dividend Yield, June 25th 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. 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, Nectar Lifesciences paid out 2.4% of its profit as dividends. Given the low payout ratio, it is hard to envision the dividend coming under threat, barring a catastrophe.

Is Nectar Lifesciences's Balance Sheet Risky?

As Nectar Lifesciences 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, Nectar Lifesciences 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. With EBIT of 1.36 times its interest expense, Nectar Lifesciences's interest cover is starting to look a bit thin.

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

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. Nectar Lifesciences has been paying dividends for a long time, but for the purpose of this analysis, we only examine the past 10 years of payments. Its dividend payments have fallen by 20% or more on at least one occasion over the past ten years. During the past ten-year period, the first annual payment was ₹0.10 in 2009, compared to ₹0.05 last year. The dividend has shrunk at around 6.7% a year during that period. Nectar Lifesciences's dividend has been cut sharply at least once, so it hasn't fallen by 6.7% every year, but this is a decent approximation of the long term change.

We struggle to make a case for buying Nectar Lifesciences for its dividend, given that payments have shrunk over the past ten years.

Dividend Growth Potential

Given that dividend payments have been shrinking like a glacier in a warming world, we need to check if there are some bright spots on the horizon. In the last five years, Nectar Lifesciences's earnings per share have shrunk at approximately 5.2% per annum. 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.

Conclusion

Dividend investors should always want to know if a) a company's dividends are affordable, b) if there is a track record of consistent payments, and c) if the dividend is capable of growing. Firstly, we like that Nectar Lifesciences has low and conservative payout ratios. Second, earnings per share have been in decline, and its dividend has been cut at least once in the past. Ultimately, Nectar Lifesciences comes up short on our dividend analysis. It's not that we think it is a bad company - just that there are likely more appealing dividend prospects out there on this analysis.

You can also discover whether shareholders are aligned with insider interests by checking our visualisation of insider shareholdings and trades in Nectar Lifesciences stock.

We have also put together a list of global stocks with a market capitalisation above $1bn and yielding more 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.