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Is Stantec Inc (TSE:STN) A Smart Choice For Dividend Investors?

Luis Baughman

A large part of investment returns can be generated by dividend-paying stock given their role in compounding returns over time. Historically, Stantec Inc (TSE:STN) has been paying a dividend to shareholders. Today it yields 1.7%. Let’s dig deeper into whether Stantec should have a place in your portfolio.

See our latest analysis for Stantec

5 questions I ask before picking a dividend stock

When researching a dividend stock, I always follow the following screening criteria:

  • Is it paying an annual yield above 75% of dividend payers?
  • Has it consistently paid a stable dividend without missing a payment or drastically 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?
TSX:STN Historical Dividend Yield September 3rd 18

How well does Stantec fit our criteria?

The company currently pays out 44.7% of its earnings as a dividend, according to its trailing twelve-month data, meaning the dividend is sufficiently covered by earnings. However, going forward, analysts expect STN’s payout to fall to 27.5% of its earnings, which leads to a dividend yield of around 1.8%. However, EPS should increase to CA$1.69, meaning that the lower payout ratio does not necessarily implicate a lower dividend payment.

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. The reality is that it is too early to consider Stantec as a dividend investment. It has only been consistently paying dividends for 7 years, however, standard practice for reliable payers is to look for a 10-year minimum track record.

Compared to its peers, Stantec produces a yield of 1.7%, which is on the low-side for Professional Services stocks.

Next Steps:

Now you know to keep in mind the reason why investors should be careful investing in Stantec for the dividend. On the other hand, if you are not strictly just a dividend investor, the stock could still be offering some interesting investment opportunities. Given that this is purely a dividend analysis, I recommend taking sufficient time to understand its core business and determine whether the company and its investment properties suit your overall goals. I’ve put together three fundamental aspects you should further examine:

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for STN’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for STN’s outlook.
  2. Valuation: What is STN 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 STN 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.