Is Cowealth Medical Holding Co., Ltd. (GTSM:4745) a good dividend stock? How can we tell? Dividend paying companies with growing earnings can be highly rewarding in the long term. Yet sometimes, investors buy a popular dividend stock because of its yield, and then lose money if the company’s dividend doesn’t live up to expectations.
With Cowealth Medical Holding yielding 3.9% and having paid a dividend for over 10 years, many investors likely find the company quite interesting. It would not be a surprise to discover that many investors buy it for the dividends. There are a few simple ways to reduce the risks of buying Cowealth Medical Holding for its dividend, and we’ll go through these below.
Companies (usually) pay dividends out of their earnings. If a company is paying more than it earns, the dividend might have to be cut. As a result, we should always investigate whether a company can afford its dividend, measured as a percentage of a company’s net income after tax. Looking at the data, we can see that 71% of Cowealth Medical Holding’s profits were paid out as dividends in the last 12 months. 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.
We also measure dividends paid against a company’s levered free cash flow, to see if enough cash was generated to cover the dividend. The company paid out 72% of its free cash flow, which is not bad per se, but does start to limit the amount of cash Cowealth Medical Holding has available to meet other needs. It’s encouraging to see that the dividend is covered by both profit and cash flow. This generally suggests the dividend is sustainable, as long as earnings don’t drop precipitously.
With a strong net cash balance, Cowealth Medical Holding investors may not have much to worry about in the near term from a dividend perspective.
Before buying a stock for its income, we want to see if the dividends have been stable in the past, and if the company has a track record of maintaining its dividend. For the purpose of this article, we only scrutinise the last decade of Cowealth Medical Holding’s dividend payments. The dividend has been cut on at least one occasion historically. During the past 10-year period, the first annual payment was NT$0.1 in 2011, compared to NT$1.1 last year. Dividends per share have grown at approximately 23% per year over this time. Cowealth Medical Holding’s dividend payments have fluctuated, so it hasn’t grown 23% every year, but the CAGR is a useful rule of thumb for approximating the historical growth.
It’s not great to see that the payment has been cut in the past. We’re generally more wary of companies that have cut their dividend before, as they tend to perform worse in an economic downturn.
Dividend Growth Potential
Given that the dividend has been cut in the past, we need to check if earnings are growing and if that might lead to stronger dividends in the future. Over the past five years, it looks as though Cowealth Medical Holding’s EPS have declined at around 18% a year. With this kind of significant decline, we always wonder what has changed in the business. Dividends are about stability, and Cowealth Medical Holding’s earnings per share, which support the dividend, have been anything but stable.
Dividend investors should always want to know if a) a company’s dividends are affordable, b) if there is a track record of consistent payments, and c) if the dividend is capable of growing. First, we think Cowealth Medical Holding is paying out an acceptable percentage of its cashflow and profit. Earnings per share are down, and Cowealth Medical Holding’s dividend has been cut at least once in the past, which is disappointing. With this information in mind, we think Cowealth Medical Holding may not be an ideal 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 example, we’ve identified 4 warning signs for Cowealth Medical Holding (1 is potentially serious!) that you should be aware of before investing.
If you are a dividend investor, you might also want to look at our curated list of dividend stocks yielding above 3%.
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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.
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