Padini Holdings Berhad (KLSE:PADINI) stock is about to trade ex-dividend in three days. The ex-dividend date is usually set to be one business day before the record date which is the cut-off date on which you must be present on the company's books as a shareholder in order to receive the dividend. It is important to be aware of the ex-dividend date because any trade on the stock needs to have been settled on or before the record date. Meaning, you will need to purchase Padini Holdings Berhad's shares before the 15th of December to receive the dividend, which will be paid on the 29th of December.
The company's next dividend payment will be RM0.025 per share, on the back of last year when the company paid a total of RM0.10 to shareholders. Calculating the last year's worth of payments shows that Padini Holdings Berhad has a trailing yield of 2.9% on the current share price of MYR3.43. Dividends are an important source of income to many shareholders, but the health of the business is crucial to maintaining those dividends. So we need to check whether the dividend payments are covered, and if earnings are growing.
Dividends are usually paid out of company profits, so if a company pays out more than it earned then its dividend is usually at greater risk of being cut. Fortunately Padini Holdings Berhad's payout ratio is modest, at just 33% of profit. Yet cash flow is typically more important than profit for assessing dividend sustainability, so we should always check if the company generated enough cash to afford its dividend. Padini Holdings Berhad paid out more free cash flow than it generated - 165%, to be precise - last year, which we think is concerningly high. We're curious about why the company paid out more cash than it generated last year, since this can be one of the early signs that a dividend may be unsustainable.
Padini Holdings Berhad does have a large net cash position on the balance sheet, which could fund large dividends for a time, if the company so chose. Still, smart investors know that it is better to assess dividends relative to the cash and profit generated by the business. Paying dividends out of cash on the balance sheet is not long-term sustainable.
While Padini Holdings Berhad's dividends were covered by the company's reported profits, cash is somewhat more important, so it's not great to see that the company didn't generate enough cash to pay its dividend. Cash is king, as they say, and were Padini Holdings Berhad to repeatedly pay dividends that aren't well covered by cashflow, we would consider this a warning sign.
Have Earnings And Dividends Been Growing?
Businesses with strong growth prospects usually make the best dividend payers, because it's easier to grow dividends when earnings per share are improving. If business enters a downturn and the dividend is cut, the company could see its value fall precipitously. With that in mind, we're encouraged by the steady growth at Padini Holdings Berhad, with earnings per share up 2.4% on average over the last five years. Earnings have been growing somewhat, but we're concerned dividend payments consumed most of the company's cash flow over the past year.
Many investors will assess a company's dividend performance by evaluating how much the dividend payments have changed over time. In the last 10 years, Padini Holdings Berhad has lifted its dividend by approximately 5.2% a year on average. We're glad to see dividends rising alongside earnings over a number of years, which may be a sign the company intends to share the growth with shareholders.
To Sum It Up
From a dividend perspective, should investors buy or avoid Padini Holdings Berhad? Padini Holdings Berhad has seen its earnings per share grow steadily and paid out less than half its profit over the last year. Unfortunately, its dividend was not well covered by free cash flow. In summary, while it has some positive characteristics, we're not inclined to race out and buy Padini Holdings Berhad today.
With that being said, if dividends aren't your biggest concern with Padini Holdings Berhad, you should know about the other risks facing this business. For example, Padini Holdings Berhad has 2 warning signs (and 1 which is significant) we think you should know about.
If you're in the market for strong dividend payers, we recommend checking 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.