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Three Things You Should Check Before Buying Grange Resources Limited (ASX:GRR) For Its Dividend

Simply Wall St

Today we'll take a closer look at Grange Resources Limited (ASX:GRR) 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. If you are hoping to live on your dividends, it's important to be more stringent with your investments than the average punter. Regular readers know we like to apply the same approach to each dividend stock, and we hope you'll find our analysis useful.

In this case, Grange Resources likely looks attractive to dividend investors, given its 9.3% dividend yield and eight-year payment history. It sure looks interesting on these metrics - but there's always more to the story . Some simple research can reduce the risk of buying Grange Resources for its dividend - read on to learn more.

Explore this interactive chart for our latest analysis on Grange Resources!

ASX:GRR Historical Dividend Yield, October 22nd 2019

Payout ratios

Dividends are usually paid out of company earnings. If a company is paying more than it earns, 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, Grange Resources paid out 34% of its profit as dividends. A medium payout ratio strikes a good balance between paying dividends, and keeping enough back to invest in the business. Plus, there is room to increase the payout ratio over time.

In addition to comparing dividends against profits, we should inspect whether the company generated enough cash to pay its dividend. Grange Resources paid out 2826% of its free cash flow last year, which we think is concerning if cash flows do not improve. Paying out such a high percentage of cash flow suggests that the dividend was funded from either cash at bank or by borrowing, neither of which is desirable over the long term. Grange Resources paid out less in dividends than it reported in profits, but unfortunately it didn't generate enough free cash flow to cover the dividend. Were it to repeatedly pay dividends that were not well covered by cash flow, this could be a risk to Grange Resources's ability to maintain its dividend.

While the above analysis focuses on dividends relative to a company's earnings, we do note Grange Resources's strong net cash position, which will let it pay larger dividends for a time, should it choose.

We update our data on Grange Resources every 24 hours, so you can always get our latest analysis of its financial health, here.

Dividend Volatility

Before buying a stock for its income, we want to see if the dividends have been stable in the past, and if the company has a track record of maintaining its dividend. Looking at the last decade of data, we can see that Grange Resources paid its first dividend at least eight years ago. It's good to see that Grange Resources has been paying a dividend for a number of years. However, the dividend has been cut at least once in the past, and we're concerned that what has been cut once, could be cut again. During the past eight-year period, the first annual payment was AU$0.04 in 2011, compared to AU$0.02 last year. The dividend has shrunk at around 8.3% a year during that period. Grange Resources's dividend hasn't shrunk linearly at 8.3% per annum, but the CAGR is a useful estimate of the historical rate of change.

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

Dividend Growth Potential

With a relatively unstable dividend, and a poor history of shrinking dividends, it's even more important to see if EPS are growing. It's good to see Grange Resources has been growing its earnings per share at 25% a year over the past five years. Earnings per share have rocketed in recent times, and we like that the company is retaining more than half of its earnings to reinvest. However, always remember that very few companies can grow at double digit rates forever.

Conclusion

When we look at a dividend stock, we need to form a judgement on whether the dividend will grow, if the company is able to maintain it in a wide range of economic circumstances, and if the dividend payout is sustainable. First, we like Grange Resources's low dividend payout ratio, although we're a bit concerned that it paid out a substantially higher percentage of its free cash flow. Next, earnings growth has been good, but unfortunately the dividend has been cut at least once in the past. In sum, we find it hard to get excited about Grange Resources from a dividend perspective. It's not that we think it's a bad business; just that there are other companies that perform better on these criteria.

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