Zhongyu Energy Holdings Limited (HKG:3633) is about to trade ex-dividend in the next 3 days. The ex-dividend date is usually set to be one business day before the record date which is the cut-off date on which you must be present on the company's books as a shareholder in order to receive the dividend. It is important to be aware of the ex-dividend date because any trade on the stock needs to have been settled on or before the record date. Thus, you can purchase Zhongyu Energy Holdings' shares before the 7th of June in order to receive the dividend, which the company will pay on the 15th of July.
The upcoming dividend for Zhongyu Energy Holdings is HK$0.13 per share, increased from last year's total dividends per share of HK$0.11. Dividends are a major contributor to investment returns for long term holders, but only if the dividend continues to be paid. As a result, readers should always check whether Zhongyu Energy Holdings has been able to grow its dividends, or if the dividend might be cut.
Check out our latest analysis for Zhongyu Energy Holdings
If a company pays out more in dividends than it earned, then the dividend might become unsustainable - hardly an ideal situation. Zhongyu Energy Holdings has a low and conservative payout ratio of just 25% of its income after tax. That said, even highly profitable companies sometimes might not generate enough cash to pay the dividend, which is why we should always check if the dividend is covered by cash flow. It paid out 92% of its free cash flow in the form of dividends last year, which is outside the comfort zone for most businesses. Cash flows are usually much more volatile than earnings, so this could be a temporary effect - but we'd generally want to look more closely here.
Zhongyu Energy Holdings paid out less in dividends than it reported in profits, but unfortunately it didn't generate enough cash to cover the dividend. Were this to happen repeatedly, this would be a risk to Zhongyu Energy Holdings's ability to maintain its dividend.
Click here to see how much of its profit Zhongyu Energy Holdings paid out over the last 12 months.SEHK:3633 Historic Dividend June 3rd 2022
Have Earnings And Dividends Been Growing?
Companies with consistently growing earnings per share generally make the best dividend stocks, as they usually find it easier to grow dividends per share. If earnings fall far enough, the company could be forced to cut its dividend. That's why it's comforting to see Zhongyu Energy Holdings's earnings have been skyrocketing, up 39% per annum for the past five years. Earnings have been growing quickly, but we're concerned dividend payments consumed most of the company's cash flow over the past year.
We'd also point out that Zhongyu Energy Holdings issued a meaningful number of new shares in the past year. Trying to grow the dividend while issuing large amounts of new shares reminds us of the ancient Greek tale of Sisyphus - perpetually pushing a boulder uphill.
Many investors will assess a company's dividend performance by evaluating how much the dividend payments have changed over time. In the past four years, Zhongyu Energy Holdings has increased its dividend at approximately 22% a year on average. It's great to see earnings per share growing rapidly over several years, and dividends per share growing right along with it.
Is Zhongyu Energy Holdings an attractive dividend stock, or better left on the shelf? We're glad to see the company has been improving its earnings per share while also paying out a low percentage of income. However, it's not great to see it paying out what we see as an uncomfortably high percentage of its cash flow. To summarise, Zhongyu Energy Holdings looks okay on this analysis, although it doesn't appear a stand-out opportunity.
On that note, you'll want to research what risks Zhongyu Energy Holdings is facing. For instance, we've identified 2 warning signs for Zhongyu Energy Holdings (1 is concerning) you should be aware of.
Generally, we wouldn't recommend just buying the first dividend stock you see. Here's a curated list of interesting stocks that are strong dividend payers.
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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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.