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Why Dividend Hunters Love International Paper Company (NYSE:IP)

Wade Goff

There is a lot to be liked about International Paper Company (NYSE:IP) as an income stock. It has paid dividends over the past 10 years. The company is currently worth US$17b, and now yields roughly 4.7%. Let’s dig deeper into whether International Paper should have a place in your portfolio.

View our latest analysis for International Paper

5 checks you should do on a dividend stock

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

  • Is it the top 25% annual dividend yield payer?
  • Has it paid dividend every year without dramatically reducing payout in the past?
  • Has the amount of dividend per share grown over the past?
  • Is its earnings sufficient to payout dividend at the current rate?
  • Will it have the ability to keep paying its dividends going forward?
NYSE:IP Historical Dividend Yield January 8th 19

How does International Paper fare?

The company currently pays out 28% of its earnings as a dividend, according to its trailing twelve-month data, which means that the dividend is covered by earnings. Going forward, analysts expect IP’s payout to increase to 37% of its earnings. Assuming a constant share price, this equates to a dividend yield of around 4.8%. However, EPS is forecasted to fall to $5.45 in the upcoming year. Therefore, although payout is expected to increase, the fall in earnings may not equate to higher dividend income.

When considering the sustainability of dividends, it is also worth checking the cash flow of a company. Cash flow is important because companies with strong cash flow can usually sustain higher payout ratios.

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 IP it has increased its DPS from $1 to $2 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 IP a true dividend rockstar.

Compared to its peers, International Paper has a yield of 4.7%, which is high for Packaging stocks.

Next Steps:

With these dividend metrics in mind, I definitely rank International Paper as a strong income stock, and is worth further research for anyone who considers dividends an important part of their portfolio strategy. Given that this is purely a dividend analysis, I recommend taking sufficient time to understand its core business and determine whether the company and its investment properties suit your overall goals. I’ve put together three relevant factors you should look at:

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for IP’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for IP’s outlook.
  2. Valuation: What is IP 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 IP is currently mispriced by the market.
  3. Other 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.