November 30, 2021

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Key Things To Consider Before Buying Guorui Properties Limited (HKG:2329) For Its Dividend

Today we’ll take a closer look at Guorui Properties Limited (HKG:2329) 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.

In this case, Guorui Properties likely looks attractive to dividend investors, given its 4.0% dividend yield and five-year payment history. It sure looks interesting on these metrics – but there’s always more to the story . Some simple analysis can offer a lot of insights when buying a company for its dividend, and we’ll go through this below.

Explore this interactive chart for our latest analysis on Guorui Properties!

SEHK:2329 Historical Dividend Yield March 30th 2020

Payout ratios

Dividends are usually paid out of company earnings. If a company is paying more than it earns, 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. Guorui Properties paid out 21% of its profit as dividends, over the trailing twelve month period. Given the low payout ratio, it is hard to envision the dividend coming under threat, barring a catastrophe.

In addition to comparing dividends against profits, we should inspect whether the company generated enough cash to pay its dividend. Guorui Properties’s cash payout ratio last year was 11%. Cash flows are typically lumpy, but this looks like an appropriately conservative payout. It’s positive to see that Guorui Properties’s dividend is covered by both profits and cash flow, since this is generally a sign that the dividend is sustainable, and a lower payout ratio usually suggests a greater margin of safety before the dividend gets cut.

Is Guorui Properties’s Balance Sheet Risky?

As Guorui Properties 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 measures total debt load relative to company earnings (lower = less debt), while net interest cover measures the ability to pay interest on the debt (higher = greater ability to pay interest costs). Guorui Properties has net debt of 13.04 times its EBITDA, which we think carries substantial risk if earnings aren’t sustainable.

Net interest cover can be calculated by dividing earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) by the company’s net interest expense. Net interest cover of 10.66 times its interest expense appears reasonable for Guorui Properties, although we’re conscious that even high interest cover doesn’t make a company bulletproof. Adequate interest cover may make the debt look safe, relative to companies with a lower interest cover ratio. However with such a large mountain of debt overall, we’re cautious of what could happen if interest rates rise.

We update our data on Guorui Properties every 24 hours, so you can always get our latest analysis of its financial health, here.

Dividend Volatility

One of the major risks of relying on dividend income, is the potential for a company to struggle financially and cut its dividend. Not only is your income cut, but the value of your investment declines as well – nasty. Guorui Properties has been paying a dividend for the past five years. During the past five-year period, the first annual payment was CN¥0.048 in 2015, compared to CN¥0.048 last year. Dividend payments have shrunk at a rate of less than 1% per annum over this time frame.

When a company’s per-share dividend falls we question if this reflects poorly on either external business conditions, or the company’s capital allocation decisions. Either way, we find it hard to get excited about a company with a declining dividend.

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 Guorui Properties’s EPS have declined at around 17% a year. With this kind of significant decline, we always wonder what has changed in the business. Dividends are about stability, and Guorui Properties’s earnings per share, which support the dividend, have been anything but stable.

Conclusion

To summarise, shareholders should always check that Guorui Properties’s dividends are affordable, that its dividend payments are relatively stable, and that it has decent prospects for growing its earnings and dividend. First, we like that the company’s dividend payments appear well covered, although the retained capital also needs to be effectively reinvested. Earnings per share have been falling, and the company has cut its dividend at least once in the past. From a dividend perspective, this is a cause for concern. In sum, we find it hard to get excited about Guorui Properties from a dividend perspective. It’s not that we think it’s a bad business; just that there are other companies that perform better on these criteria.

Companies possessing a stable dividend policy will likely enjoy greater investor interest than those suffering from a more inconsistent approach. Still, investors need to consider a host of other factors, apart from dividend payments, when analysing a company. For example, we’ve identified 6 warning signs for Guorui Properties (1 is a bit unpleasant!) that you should be aware of before investing.

We have also put together a list of global stocks with a market capitalisation above $1bn and yielding more 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.

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.

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