AJ Bell plc (LON:AJB) will increase its dividend on the 2nd of July to UK£0.025, which is 64% higher than last year. This takes the annual payment to 1.7% of the current stock price, which unfortunately is below what the industry is paying.
AJ Bell's Earnings Easily Cover the Distributions
It would be nice for the yield to be higher, but we should also check if higher levels of dividend payment would be sustainable. Based on the last payment, AJ Bell was quite comfortably earning enough to cover the dividend. This indicates that a lot of the earnings are being reinvested into the business, with the aim of fueling growth.
Over the next year, EPS is forecast to fall by 2.0%. If the dividend continues along the path it has been on recently, we estimate the payout ratio could be 73%, which is comfortable for the company to continue in the future.
AJ Bell Is Still Building Its Track Record
Looking back, the dividend has been stable, but the company hasn't been paying a dividend for very long so we can't be confident that the dividend will remain stable through all economic environments. The first annual payment during the last 2 years was UK£0.03 in 2019, and the most recent fiscal year payment was UK£0.062. This means that it has been growing its distributions at 43% per annum over that time. AJ Bell has been growing its dividend quite rapidly, which is exciting. However, the short payment history makes us question whether this performance will persist across a full market cycle.
The Dividend Looks Likely To Grow
The company's investors will be pleased to have been receiving dividend income for some time. AJ Bell has seen EPS rising for the last five years, at 28% per annum. The company doesn't have any problems growing, despite returning a lot of capital to shareholders, which is a very nice combination for a dividend stock to have.
We Really Like AJ Bell's Dividend
In summary, it is always positive to see the dividend being increased, and we are particularly pleased with its overall sustainability. The distributions are easily covered by earnings, and there is plenty of cash being generated as well. However, it is worth noting that the earnings are expected to fall over the next year, which may not change the long term outlook, but could affect the dividend payment in the next 12 months. Taking this all into consideration, this looks like it could be a good dividend opportunity.
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. As an example, we've identified 1 warning sign for AJ Bell that you should be aware of before investing. We have also put together a list of global stocks with a solid dividend.
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. 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.
Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.