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Is Universal Corporation (NYSE:UVV) A Smart Choice For Dividend Investors?

Simply Wall St

Universal Corporation (NYSE:UVV) has pleased shareholders over the past 10 years, by paying out dividends. The company currently pays out a dividend yield of 5.0% to shareholders, making it a relatively attractive dividend stock. Does Universal tick all the boxes of a great dividend stock? Below, I’ll take you through my analysis.

Check out our latest analysis for Universal

How I analyze a dividend stock

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

  • Is its annual yield among the top 25% of dividend-paying companies?
  • Does it consistently pay out dividends without missing a payment of significantly cutting payout?
  • Has dividend per share amount increased over the past?
  • Can it afford to pay the current rate of dividends from its earnings?
  • Will the company be able to keep paying dividend based on the future earnings growth?
NYSE:UVV Historical Dividend Yield, March 7th 2019

How does Universal fare?

The current trailing twelve-month payout ratio for the stock is 68%, meaning the dividend is sufficiently covered by earnings. Furthermore, analysts have not forecasted a dividends per share for the future, which makes it hard to determine the yield shareholders should expect, and whether the current payout is sustainable, moving forward.

When assessing the forecast sustainability of a dividend it is also worth considering the cash flow of the business. A business with strong cash flow can sustain a higher divided payout ratio than a company with weak cash flow.

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. In the case of UVV it has increased its DPS from $1.84 to $3 in the past 10 years. During this period it has not missed a payment, as one would expect for a company increasing its dividend. This is an impressive feat, which makes UVV a true dividend rockstar.

Relative to peers, Universal produces a yield of 5.0%, which is on the low-side for Tobacco stocks.

Next Steps:

Considering the dividend attributes we analyzed above, Universal is definitely worth keeping an eye on for someone looking to build a dedicated income portfolio. Given that this is purely a dividend analysis, I urge potential investors to try and get a good understanding of the underlying business and its fundamentals before deciding on an investment. There are three important aspects you should further research:

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for UVV’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for UVV’s outlook.
  2. Historical Performance: What has UVV’s returns been like over the past? Go into more detail in the past track record analysis and take a look at the free visual representations of our analysis for more clarity.
  3. Other Dividend Rockstars: Are there better dividend payers with stronger fundamentals out there? Check out our free list of these great stocks here.

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.