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Is Victory Securities (Holdings) Company Limited (HKG:8540) A Risky Dividend Stock?

Simply Wall St

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Today we'll take a closer look at Victory Securities (Holdings) Company Limited (HKG:8540) 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. Unfortunately, it's common for investors to be enticed in by the seemingly attractive yield, and lose money when the company has to cut its dividend payments.

Some readers mightn't know much about Victory Securities (Holdings)'s 2.4% dividend, as it has only been paying distributions for a year or so. 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

SEHK:8540 Historical Dividend Yield, July 19th 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, Victory Securities (Holdings) paid out 105% of its profit as dividends. A payout ratio above 100% is definitely an item of concern, unless there are some other circumstances that would justify it.

We update our data on Victory Securities (Holdings) every 24 hours, so you can always get our latest analysis of its financial health, here.

Dividend Volatility

One of the major risks of relying on dividend income, is the potential for a company to struggle financially and cut its dividend. Not only is your income cut, but the value of your investment declines as well - nasty. With a payment history of less than 2 years, we think it's a bit too soon to think about living on the income from its dividend. This works out to be a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 50% a year over that time.

The dividend has been growing pretty quickly, which could be enough to get us interested even though the dividend history is relatively short. Further research may be warranted.

Dividend Growth Potential

Examining whether the dividend is affordable and stable is important. However, it's also important to assess if earnings per share (EPS) are growing. Growing EPS can help maintain or increase the purchasing power of the dividend over the long run. Victory Securities (Holdings) has grown its EPS 5.1% over the past 12 months. It's good to see earnings per share rising, but one year is too short a period to get excited about. Were this trend to continue, we'd be interested. Although per-share earnings are growing at a credible rate, virtually all of the income is being paid out as dividends to shareholders. This is okay, but may limit growth in the company's future dividend payments. We do note though, one year is too short a time to be drawing strong conclusions about a company's future prospects.

We'd also point out that Victory Securities (Holdings) issued a meaningful number of new shares in the past year. Regularly issuing new shares can be detrimental - it's hard to grow dividends per share when new shares are regularly being created.

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. Victory Securities (Holdings) is paying out a larger percentage of its profit than we're comfortable with. Unfortunately, earnings growth has also been mediocre, and we think it has not been paying dividends long enough to demonstrate resilience across economic cycles. With this information in mind, we think Victory Securities (Holdings) may not be an ideal dividend stock.

See if management have their own wealth at stake, by checking insider shareholdings in Victory Securities (Holdings) stock.

Looking for more high-yielding dividend ideas? Try our curated list of dividend stocks with a yield above 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.