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Is Terveystalo Oyj (HEL:TTALO) The Right Choice For A Smart Dividend Investor?

Simply Wall St
·5-min read

Could Terveystalo Oyj (HEL:TTALO) be an attractive dividend share to own for the long haul? Investors are often drawn to strong companies with the idea of reinvesting the dividends. If you are hoping to live on the income from dividends, it's important to be a lot more stringent with your investments than the average punter.

With only a two-year payment history, and a 3.0% yield, investors probably think Terveystalo Oyj is not much of a dividend stock. Many of the best dividend stocks typically start out paying a low yield, so we wouldn't automatically cut it from our list of prospects. The company also bought back stock equivalent to around 2.3% of market capitalisation this year. Before you buy any stock for its dividend however, you should always remember Warren Buffett's two rules: 1) Don't lose money, and 2) Remember rule #1. We'll run through some checks below to help with this.

Explore this interactive chart for our latest analysis on Terveystalo Oyj!

HLSE:TTALO Historical Dividend Yield May 6th 2020
HLSE:TTALO Historical Dividend Yield May 6th 2020

Payout ratios

Dividends are typically paid from company earnings. If a company pays more in dividends than it earned, then the dividend might become unsustainable - hardly an ideal situation. Comparing dividend payments to a company's net profit after tax is a simple way of reality-checking whether a dividend is sustainable. Terveystalo Oyj paid out 61% of its profit as dividends, over the trailing twelve month period. This is a healthy payout ratio, and while it does limit the amount of earnings that can be reinvested in the business, there is also some room to lift the payout ratio over time.

Is Terveystalo Oyj's Balance Sheet Risky?

As Terveystalo Oyj has a meaningful amount of debt, we need to check its balance sheet to see if the company might have debt risks. A quick check of its financial situation can be done with two ratios: net debt divided by EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation), and net interest cover. Net debt to EBITDA is a measure of a company's total debt. Net interest cover measures the ability to meet interest payments. Essentially we check that a) the company does not have too much debt, and b) that it can afford to pay the interest. With net debt of 2.49 times its EBITDA, Terveystalo Oyj has a noticeable amount of debt, although if business stays steady, this may not be overly concerning.

Net interest cover can be calculated by dividing earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) by the company's net interest expense. Terveystalo Oyj has EBIT of 6.93 times its interest expense, which we think is adequate.

Consider getting our latest analysis on Terveystalo Oyj's financial position here.

Dividend Volatility

From the perspective of an income investor who wants to earn dividends for many years, there is not much point buying a stock if its dividend is regularly cut or is not reliable. The company has been paying a stable dividend for a few years now, but we'd like to see more evidence of consistency over a longer period. During the past two-year period, the first annual payment was €0.06 in 2018, compared to €0.26 last year. Dividends per share have grown at approximately 108% per year over this time.

The dividend has been growing pretty quickly, which could be enough to get us interested even though the dividend history is relatively short. Further research may be warranted.

Dividend Growth Potential

While dividend payments have been relatively reliable, it would also be nice if earnings per share (EPS) were growing, as this is essential to maintaining the dividend's purchasing power over the long term. It's good to see Terveystalo Oyj has been growing its earnings per share at 52% a year over the past five years. With recent, rapid earnings per share growth and a payout ratio of 61%, this business looks like an interesting prospect if earnings are reinvested effectively.

Conclusion

To summarise, shareholders should always check that Terveystalo Oyj's dividends are affordable, that its dividend payments are relatively stable, and that it has decent prospects for growing its earnings and dividend. Terveystalo Oyj's payout ratio is within normal bounds. Next, earnings growth has been good, but unfortunately the company has not been paying dividends as long as we'd like. Terveystalo Oyj has a credible record on several fronts, but falls slightly short of our standards for a dividend stock.

Investors generally tend to favour companies with a consistent, stable dividend policy as opposed to those operating an irregular one. However, there are other things to consider for investors when analysing stock performance. For instance, we've picked out 3 warning signs for Terveystalo Oyj that investors should take into consideration.

If you are a dividend investor, you might also want to look at our curated list of dividend stocks yielding above 3%.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. 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. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Thank you for reading.