Computershare Limited (ASX:CPU) will increase its dividend from last year's comparable payment on the 12th of September to $0.30. Based on this payment, the dividend yield for the company will be 2.5%, which is fairly typical for the industry.
Computershare's Earnings Easily Cover The Distributions
Unless the payments are sustainable, the dividend yield doesn't mean too much. Based on the last payment, Computershare's profits didn't cover the dividend, but the company was generating enough cash instead. Healthy cash flows are always a positive sign, especially when they quite easily cover the dividend.
Looking forward, earnings per share is forecast to rise by 152.3% over the next year. Assuming the dividend continues along the course it has been charting recently, our estimates show the payout ratio being 60% which brings it into quite a comfortable range.
Computershare Has A Solid Track Record
The company has an extended history of paying stable dividends. The dividend has gone from an annual total of $0.271 in 2012 to the most recent total annual payment of $0.418. This implies that the company grew its distributions at a yearly rate of about 4.4% over that duration. Dividends have grown relatively slowly, which is not great, but some investors may value the relative consistency of the dividend.
Dividend Growth Is Doubtful
The company's investors will be pleased to have been receiving dividend income for some time. Let's not jump to conclusions as things might not be as good as they appear on the surface. It's not great to see that Computershare's earnings per share has fallen at approximately 5.0% per year over the past five years. If earnings continue declining, the company may have to make the difficult choice of reducing the dividend or even stopping it completely - the opposite of dividend growth. Earnings are forecast to grow over the next 12 months and if that happens we could still be a little bit cautious until it becomes a pattern.
Our Thoughts On Computershare's Dividend
Overall, this is probably not a great income stock, even though the dividend is being raised at the moment. The company has been bring in plenty of cash to cover the dividend, but we don't necessarily think that makes it a great dividend stock. We don't think Computershare is a great stock to add to your portfolio if income is your focus.
Companies possessing a stable dividend policy will likely enjoy greater investor interest than those suffering from a more inconsistent approach. Still, investors need to consider a host of other factors, apart from dividend payments, when analysing a company. For instance, we've picked out 1 warning sign for Computershare that investors should take into consideration. Is Computershare 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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