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Should Gama Aviation (LON:GMAA) cut its dividend payment?

Jack Brumby

The market hates an unexpected dividend cut, so it makes sense to screen out companies that struggle to make their dividend payments.

In this article, we have compiled some of the most important sustainability metrics in order to shine a light on a company's capacity to make these dividend payments. When we apply them to Gama Aviation (LON:GMAA), which pays a 0.026 rolling dividend, we see that serious questions are raised as to whether or not it can continue to pay out this amount of cash to shareholders...

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Why Gama Aviation's (LON:GMAA) balance sheet looks weak

The strength of a company’s balance sheet strength plays an important role in whether or not it can afford to pay its dividend. A company carrying a lot of debt that struggles to meet its interest payments is much more likely to cut its dividend than a company with no debt at all. 

A safe level of net gearing (net debt to equity) on the balance sheet is generally considered to be 50 percent or less. Gama Aviation’s net gearing ratio is 106.6% - above the 50% threshold.
The current ratio (current assets / current liabilities ) gauges a company’s capacity to service short term debts. A current ratio of less than one can be cause for concern. Gama Aviation’s current ratio is 0.85 - below the 1.0x threshold.

Does Gama Aviation have enough cash?

Another important characteristic of a reliable dividend payer is high levels of free cash generation. Gama Aviation generated -0.60 in FCF PS. This is lower than the dividend payout 0.026 and indicates that the company has not generated enough FCF to cover dividends over the past twelve months.

Is Gama Aviation's (LON:GMAA) dividend cover below 1.0x?

Dividend cover is arguably the essential dividend health metric (along with its inverse, the dividend payout ratio) and is calculated by dividing earnings per share divided by dividend per share (EPS/DPS). The usual rule of thumb is that dividend cover of less than 1.5x earnings can become a concern.

  • The rolling dividend cover is based on projected dividends and earnings. Gama Aviation’s rolling dividend cover is .
  • The historic dividend cover is based on historic dividends and earnings. Gama Aviation’s historic dividend cover is -22.9.

Both of these figures are below the 1.0x safety threshold for Gama Aviation that we have set. This suggests that the dividend could be at risk.

*FINANCIAL BRIEF & ANALYSIS*

Income investing: what you need to know

For many investors, dividends are a vital part of their long-term strategy. That's why we have created a variety of income-focused stock screens, such as the Best Dividends Screen, to identify promising candidates for income portfolios. Take a look and see if any of the qualifying stocks might be worthy of further research.

As for Gama Aviation (LON:GMAA), you can find a wealth of financial data on the group's StockReport, including information on the group's past and forecast dividend payments. If you’d like to discover more about dividend investing, you can read our free ebook: How to Make Money in Dividend Stocks.