Today we’ll take a closer look at Siemens Healthineers AG (ETR:SHL) from a dividend investor’s perspective. Owning a strong business and reinvesting the dividends is widely seen as an attractive way of growing your wealth. 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.
Some readers mightn’t know much about Siemens Healthineers’s 2.4% dividend, as it has only been paying distributions for a year or so. There are a few simple ways to reduce the risks of buying Siemens Healthineers for its dividend, and we’ll go through these below.
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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. 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. Siemens Healthineers paid out 52% of its profit as dividends, over the trailing twelve month period. A payout ratio above 50% generally implies a business is reaching maturity, although it is still possible to reinvest in the business or increase the dividend over time.
In addition to comparing dividends against profits, we should inspect whether the company generated enough cash to pay its dividend. Siemens Healthineers paid out 54% of its free cash flow last year, which is acceptable, but is starting to limit the amount of earnings that can be reinvested into the business. 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, Siemens Healthineers investors may not have much to worry about in the near term from a dividend perspective.
Consider getting our latest analysis on Siemens Healthineers’s financial position here.
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. With a payment history of less than 2 years, we think it’s a bit too soon to think about living on the income from its dividend. This works out to be a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 14% a year over that time.
Siemens Healthineers has been growing its dividend quite rapidly, which is exciting. However, the short payment history makes us question whether this performance will persist across a full market cycle.
Dividend Growth Potential
The other half of the dividend investing equation is evaluating whether earnings per share (EPS) are growing. Over the long term, dividends need to grow at or above the rate of inflation, in order to maintain the recipient’s purchasing power. Earnings have grown at around 3.7% a year for the past five years, which is better than seeing them shrink! Growth of 3.7% is relatively anaemic growth, which we wonder about. When a business is not growing, it often makes more sense to pay higher dividends to shareholders rather than retain the cash with no way to utilise it.
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. Siemens Healthineers’s is paying out more than half its income as dividends, but at least the dividend is covered by both reported earnings and cashflow. Unfortunately, earnings growth has also been mediocre, and we think it has not been paying dividends long enough to demonstrate resilience across economic cycles. While we’re not hugely bearish on it, overall we think there are potentially better dividend stocks than Siemens Healthineers out there.
Market movements attest to how highly valued a consistent dividend policy is to one to which is more unpredictable. However, there are other things to consider for investors when analysing stock performance. For example, we’ve picked out 2 warning signs for Siemens Healthineers that investors should know about before committing capital to this stock.
Looking for more high-yielding dividend ideas? Try our curated list of dividend stocks with a yield above 3%.
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at [email protected] 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.
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