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Should Proximus PLC (EBR:PROX) Be Part Of Your Dividend Portfolio?

Brent Freeman

Dividends play a key role in compounding returns over time and can form a large part of our portfolio return. Historically, Proximus PLC (EBR:PROX) has paid a dividend to shareholders. It currently yields 6.6%. Should it have a place in your portfolio? Let’s take a look at Proximus in more detail.

View our latest analysis for Proximus

5 checks you should do on a dividend stock

Whenever I am looking at a potential dividend stock investment, I always check these five metrics:

  • Is their annual yield among the top 25% of dividend payers?
  • Does it consistently pay out dividends without missing a payment of significantly cutting payout?
  • Has dividend per share risen in the past couple of years?
  • Can it afford to pay the current rate of dividends from its earnings?
  • Based on future earnings growth, will it be able to continue to payout dividend at the current rate?
ENXTBR:PROX Historical Dividend Yield January 25th 19

How does Proximus fare?

The current trailing twelve-month payout ratio for PROX is 93%, which means that the dividend is not well-covered by its earnings. In the near future, analysts are predicting a more sensible payout ratio of 79%, which, assuming the share price stays the same, leads to a dividend yield of around 6.6%. Furthermore, EPS should increase to €1.66, meaning that the lower payout ratio does not necessarily implicate a lower dividend payment.

When assessing the forecast sustainability of a dividend it is also worth considering the cash flow of the business. Cash flow is important because companies with strong cash flow can usually sustain higher payout ratios.

If dividend is a key criteria in your investment consideration, then you need to make sure the dividend stock you’re eyeing out is reliable in its payments. Dividend payments from Proximus have been volatile in the past 10 years, with some years experiencing significant drops of over 25%. This means that dividend hunters should probably steer clear of the stock, at least for now until the track record improves.

In terms of its peers, Proximus generates a yield of 6.6%, which is high for Telecom stocks.

Next Steps:

If Proximus is in your portfolio for cash-generating reasons, there may be better alternatives out there. However, if you are not strictly just a dividend investor, the stock could still offer some interesting investment opportunities. Given that this is purely a dividend analysis, you should always research extensively before deciding whether or not a stock is an appropriate investment for you. I always recommend analysing the company’s fundamentals and underlying business before making an investment decision. I’ve put together three essential aspects you should look at:

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for PROX’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for PROX’s outlook.
  2. Valuation: What is PROX worth today? Even if the stock is a cash cow, it’s not worth an infinite price. The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether PROX is currently mispriced by the market.
  3. Dividend Rockstars: Are there better dividend payers with stronger fundamentals out there? Check out our free list of these great stocks here.

To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.

The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com.