December 3, 2021

Earn Money

Business Life

You Have To Love Sealed Air Corporation’s (NYSE:SEE) Dividend

Dividend paying stocks like Sealed Air Corporation (NYSE:SEE) tend to be popular with investors, and for good reason – some research suggests a significant amount of all stock market returns come from reinvested dividends. 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.

A 2.2% yield is nothing to get excited about, but investors probably think the long payment history suggests Sealed Air has some staying power. The company also bought back stock equivalent to around 1.8% 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 Sealed Air!

NYSE:SEE Historical Dividend Yield May 1st 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. In the last year, Sealed Air paid out 34% of its profit as dividends. A medium payout ratio strikes a good balance between paying dividends, and keeping enough back to invest in the business. Besides, if reinvestment opportunities dry up, the company has room to increase the dividend.

In addition to comparing dividends against profits, we should inspect whether the company generated enough cash to pay its dividend. Sealed Air paid out a conservative 31% of its free cash flow as dividends last year. It’s positive to see that Sealed Air’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 Sealed Air’s Balance Sheet Risky?

As Sealed Air 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. Sealed Air has net debt of 4.14 times its EBITDA, which is getting towards the limit of most investors’ comfort zones. Judicious use of debt can enhance shareholder returns, but also adds to the risk if something goes awry.

Net interest cover can be calculated by dividing earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) by the company’s net interest expense. Interest cover of 3.71 times its interest expense is starting to become a concern for Sealed Air, and be aware that lenders may place additional restrictions on the company as well.

Consider getting our latest analysis on Sealed Air’s financial position here.

Dividend Volatility

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 Sealed Air’s dividend payments. During this period the dividend has been stable, which could imply the business could have relatively consistent earnings power. During the past ten-year period, the first annual payment was US$0.48 in 2010, compared to US$0.64 last year. This works out to be a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 2.9% a year over that time.

Slow and steady dividend growth might not sound that exciting, but dividends have been stable for ten years, which we think is seriously impressive.

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. Sealed Air has grown its earnings per share at 9.2% per annum over the past five years. Earnings per share have been growing at a credible rate. What’s more, the payout ratio is reasonable and provides some protection to the dividend, or even the potential to increase it.

Conclusion

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. It’s great to see that Sealed Air is paying out a low percentage of its earnings and cash flow. Next, growing earnings per share and steady dividend payments is a great combination. All these things considered, we think this organisation has a lot going for it from a dividend perspective.

Companies possessing a stable dividend policy will likely enjoy greater investor interest than those suffering from a more inconsistent approach. Meanwhile, despite the importance of dividend payments, they are not the only factors our readers should know when assessing a company. Just as an example, we’ve come accross 3 warning signs for Sealed Air you should be aware of, and 1 of them makes us a bit uncomfortable.

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.

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.

Source Article