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Something To Consider Before Buying Korvest Ltd (ASX:KOV) For The 7.3% Dividend

Simply Wall St

Is Korvest Ltd (ASX:KOV) a good dividend stock? How can we tell? Dividend paying companies with growing earnings can be highly rewarding in the long term. 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.

With Korvest yielding 7.3% and having paid a dividend for over 10 years, many investors likely find the company quite interesting. It would not be a surprise to discover that many investors buy it for the dividends. Some simple analysis can offer a lot of insights when buying a company for its dividend, and we'll go through this below.

Click the interactive chart for our full dividend analysis

ASX:KOV Historical Dividend Yield, November 24th 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, Korvest paid out 85% of its profit as dividends. It's paying out most of its earnings, which limits the amount that can be reinvested in the business. This may indicate limited need for further capital within the business, or highlight a commitment to paying a dividend.

In addition to comparing dividends against profits, we should inspect whether the company generated enough cash to pay its dividend. Unfortunately, while Korvest pays a dividend, it also reported negative free cash flow last year. While there may be a good reason for this, it's not ideal from a dividend perspective.

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

Remember, you can always get a snapshot of Korvest'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. Korvest has been paying dividends for a long time, but for the purpose of this analysis, we only examine the past 10 years of payments. The dividend has been cut by more than 20% on at least one occasion historically. During the past ten-year period, the first annual payment was AU$0.34 in 2009, compared to AU$0.26 last year. This works out to be a decline of approximately 2.6% per year over that time. Korvest's dividend hasn't shrunk linearly at 2.6% per annum, but the CAGR is a useful estimate of the historical rate of change.

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

Dividend Growth Potential

Given that the dividend has been cut in the past, we need to check if earnings are growing and if that might lead to stronger dividends in the future. Korvest's EPS have fallen by approximately 17% per year during the past five years. 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

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. First, we think Korvest has an acceptable payout ratio, although its dividend was not well covered by cashflow. Second, earnings per share have been in decline, and its dividend has been cut at least once in the past. Using these criteria, Korvest looks quite suboptimal from a dividend investment perspective.

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

If you are a dividend investor, you might also want to look at our curated list of dividend stocks yielding above 3%.

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.

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. Thank you for reading.