Rathbones Group Plc (LON:RAT) has announced that it will be increasing its dividend from last year's comparable payment on the 4th of October to £0.28. This will take the annual payment to 4.5% of the stock price, which is above what most companies in the industry pay.
Rathbones Group's Payment Has Solid Earnings Coverage
If the payments aren't sustainable, a high yield for a few years won't matter that much. Prior to this announcement, Rathbones Group's dividend made up quite a large proportion of earnings but only 12% of free cash flows. In general, cash flows are more important than earnings, so we are comfortable that the dividend will be sustainable going forward, especially with so much cash left over for reinvestment.
Looking forward, earnings per share is forecast to rise by 27.0% over the next year. Under the assumption that the dividend will continue along recent trends, we think the payout ratio could be 65% which would be quite comfortable going to take the dividend forward.
Rathbones Group Has A Solid Track Record
The company has an extended history of paying stable dividends. The annual payment during the last 10 years was £0.46 in 2012, and the most recent fiscal year payment was £0.82. This means that it has been growing its distributions at 6.0% per annum over that time. The dividend has been growing very nicely for a number of years, and has given its shareholders some nice income in their portfolios.
Dividend Growth May Be Hard To Achieve
Some investors will be chomping at the bit to buy some of the company's stock based on its dividend history. Earnings has been rising at 4.6% per annum over the last five years, which admittedly is a bit slow. There are exceptions, but limited earnings growth and a high payout ratio can signal that a company has reached maturity. When the rate of return on reinvestment opportunities falls below a certain minimum level, companies often elect to pay a larger dividend instead. This is why many mature companies often have larger dividend yields.
Our Thoughts On Rathbones Group's Dividend
Overall, this is probably not a great income stock, even though the dividend is being raised at the moment. The company is generating plenty of cash, but we still think the dividend is a bit high for comfort. We don't think Rathbones Group is a great stock to add to your portfolio if income is your focus.
Market movements attest to how highly valued a consistent dividend policy is compared to one which is more unpredictable. Still, investors need to consider a host of other factors, apart from dividend payments, when analysing a company. Earnings growth generally bodes well for the future value of company dividend payments. See if the 9 Rathbones Group analysts we track are forecasting continued growth with our free report on analyst estimates for the company. If you are a dividend investor, you might also want to look at our curated list of high yield 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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