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Is Western Areas Limited (ASX:WSA) A Strong Dividend Stock?

Dividends play an important role in compounding returns in the long run and end up forming a sizeable part of investment returns. Historically, Western Areas Limited (ASX:WSA) has paid dividends to shareholders, and these days it yields 1.0%. Should it have a place in your portfolio? Let’s take a look at Western Areas in more detail.

View our latest analysis for Western Areas

5 checks you should use to assess a dividend stock

When assessing a stock as a potential addition to my dividend Portfolio, I look at these five areas:

  • Does it pay an annual yield higher than 75% of dividend payers?
  • Has it consistently paid a stable dividend without missing a payment or drastically cutting payout?
  • Has it increased its dividend per share amount over the past?
  • Does earnings amply cover its dividend payments?
  • Will the company be able to keep paying dividend based on the future earnings growth?
ASX:WSA Historical Dividend Yield December 11th 18

How does Western Areas fare?

The company currently pays out 46% of its earnings as a dividend, according to its trailing twelve-month data, meaning the dividend is sufficiently covered by earnings. In the near future, analysts are predicting lower payout ratio of 22% which, assuming the share price stays the same, leads to a dividend yield of around 2.7%. However, EPS should increase to A$0.14, meaning that the lower payout ratio does not necessarily implicate a lower dividend payment.

When thinking about whether a dividend is sustainable, another factor to consider is the cash flow. Cash flow is important because companies with strong cash flow can usually sustain higher payout ratios.

If there is one thing that you want to be reliable in your life, it’s dividend stocks and their constant income stream. Unfortunately, it is really too early to view Western Areas as a dividend investment. It has only been consistently paying dividends for 9 years, however, standard practice for reliable payers is to look for a 10-year minimum track record.

In terms of its peers, Western Areas generates a yield of 1.0%, which is on the low-side for Metals and Mining stocks.

Next Steps:

Now you know to keep in mind the reason why investors should be careful investing in Western Areas for the dividend. But if you are not exclusively a dividend investor, the stock could still be an interesting investment opportunity. Given that this is purely a dividend analysis, you should always research extensively before deciding whether or not a stock is an appropriate investment for you. I always recommend analysing the company’s fundamentals and underlying business before making an investment decision. There are three important aspects you should further examine:

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