S&U's (LON:SUS) Shareholders Will Receive A Bigger Dividend Than Last Year
S&U plc (LON:SUS) will increase its dividend from last year's comparable payment on the 7th of July to £0.60. The payment will take the dividend yield to 5.5%, which is in line with the average for the industry.
View our latest analysis for S&U
S&U's Dividend Is Well Covered By Earnings
Solid dividend yields are great, but they only really help us if the payment is sustainable. Prior to this announcement, S&U's earnings easily covered the dividend, but free cash flows were negative. In general, we consider cash flow to be more important than earnings, so we would be cautious about relying on the sustainability of this dividend.
Looking forward, earnings per share is forecast to rise by 11.8% over the next year. If the dividend continues on this path, the payout ratio could be 45% by next year, which we think can be pretty sustainable going forward.
The company has a long dividend track record, but it doesn't look great with cuts in the past. The dividend has gone from an annual total of £0.41 in 2013 to the most recent total annual payment of £1.33. This works out to be a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 12% a year over that time. Dividends have grown rapidly over this time, but with cuts in the past we are not certain that this stock will be a reliable source of income in the future.
We Could See S&U's Dividend Growing
Growing earnings per share could be a mitigating factor when considering the past fluctuations in the dividend. S&U has seen EPS rising for the last five years, at 6.4% per annum. While on an earnings basis, this company looks appealing as an income stock, the cash payout ratio still makes us cautious.
Overall, we always like to see the dividend being raised, but we don't think S&U will make a great income stock. With cash flows lacking, it is difficult to see how the company can sustain a dividend payment. We would be a touch cautious of relying on this stock primarily for the dividend income.
Investors generally tend to favour companies with a consistent, stable dividend policy as opposed to those operating an irregular one. Meanwhile, despite the importance of dividend payments, they are not the only factors our readers should know when assessing a company. To that end, S&U has 3 warning signs (and 2 which make us uncomfortable) we think you should know about. Is S&U not quite the opportunity you were looking for? Why not check out our selection of top dividend stocks.
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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.
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