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Is Transurban Group (ASX:TCL) A Strong Dividend Stock?

Simply Wall St

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Dividends play a key role in compounding returns over time and can form a large part of our portfolio return. Historically, Transurban Group (ASX:TCL) has been paying a dividend to shareholders. Today it yields 4.4%. Does Transurban Group tick all the boxes of a great dividend stock? Below, I'll take you through my analysis.

See our latest analysis for Transurban Group

5 questions to ask before buying a dividend stock

When assessing a stock as a potential addition to my dividend Portfolio, I look at these five areas:

  • Is their annual yield among the top 25% of dividend payers?
  • Has it paid dividend every year without dramatically reducing payout in the past?
  • Has it increased its dividend per share amount over the past?
  • Is is able to pay the current rate of dividends from its earnings?
  • Will it have the ability to keep paying its dividends going forward?
ASX:TCL Historical Dividend Yield, March 27th 2019

Does Transurban Group pass our checks?

TCL currently pays out twice what it is earning, according to its trailing twelve-month data, meaning that the dividend is predominantly funded by retained earnings. Furthermore, analysts are forecasting the payout ratio to remain at this high level going forward, leading to a future of uncertainty around the stability of TCL's dividend income.

If you want to dive deeper into the sustainability of a certain payout ratio, you may wish to consider the cash flow of the business. Companies with strong cash flow can sustain a higher payout ratio, while companies with weaker cash flow generally cannot.

If dividend is a key criteria in your investment consideration, then you need to make sure the dividend stock you're eyeing out is reliable in its payments. Whilst its per-share payments have increased during the past 10 years, there has been some hiccups. Shareholders would have seen a few years of reduced payments in this time.

In terms of its peers, Transurban Group produces a yield of 4.4%, which is high for Infrastructure stocks but still below the market's top dividend payers.

Next Steps:

After digging a little deeper into Transurban Group's yield, it's easy to see why you should be cautious investing in the company just for the dividend. On the other hand, if you are not strictly just a dividend investor, the stock could still be offering some interesting investment opportunities. Given that this is purely a dividend analysis, I urge potential investors to try and get a good understanding of the underlying business and its fundamentals before deciding on an investment. I've put together three fundamental factors you should further research:

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for TCL’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for TCL’s outlook.
  2. Valuation: What is TCL worth today? Even if the stock is a cash cow, it's not worth an infinite price. The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether TCL is currently mispriced by the market.
  3. Dividend Rockstars: Are there better dividend payers with stronger fundamentals out there? Check out our free list of these great stocks here.

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.

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. Thank you for reading.