Dream International Limited (HKG:1126) stock is about to trade ex-dividend in 4 days. The ex-dividend date is one business day before a company's record date, which is the date on which the company determines which shareholders are entitled to receive a 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. Therefore, if you purchase Dream International's shares on or after the 28th of September, you won't be eligible to receive the dividend, when it is paid on the 13th of October.
The company's next dividend payment will be HK$0.10 per share, and in the last 12 months, the company paid a total of HK$0.20 per share. Based on the last year's worth of payments, Dream International stock has a trailing yield of around 6.8% on the current share price of HK$2.94. If you buy this business for its dividend, you should have an idea of whether Dream International's dividend is reliable and sustainable. We need to see whether the dividend is covered by earnings and if it's growing.
View our latest analysis for Dream International
Dividends are typically paid out of company income, so if a company pays out more than it earned, its dividend is usually at a higher risk of being cut. Dream International paid out a comfortable 39% of its profit last year. Yet cash flows are even more important than profits for assessing a dividend, so we need to see if the company generated enough cash to pay its distribution. Dream International paid out more free cash flow than it generated - 117%, to be precise - last year, which we think is concerningly high. It's hard to consistently pay out more cash than you generate without either borrowing or using company cash, so we'd wonder how the company justifies this payout level.
While Dream International's dividends were covered by the company's reported profits, cash is somewhat more important, so it's not great to see that the company didn't generate enough cash to pay its dividend. Were this to happen repeatedly, this would be a risk to Dream International's ability to maintain its dividend.
Click here to see how much of its profit Dream International paid out over the last 12 months.SEHK:1126 Historic Dividend September 23rd 2022
Have Earnings And Dividends Been Growing?
Businesses with strong growth prospects usually make the best dividend payers, because it's easier to grow dividends when earnings per share are improving. If business enters a downturn and the dividend is cut, the company could see its value fall precipitously. This is why it's a relief to see Dream International earnings per share are up 3.4% per annum over the last five years. Earnings have been growing somewhat, but we're concerned dividend payments consumed most of the company's cash flow over the past year.
Many investors will assess a company's dividend performance by evaluating how much the dividend payments have changed over time. In the past nine years, Dream International has increased its dividend at approximately 11% a year on average. We're glad to see dividends rising alongside earnings over a number of years, which may be a sign the company intends to share the growth with shareholders.
To Sum It Up
Has Dream International got what it takes to maintain its dividend payments? Dream International has seen its earnings per share grow steadily and paid out less than half its profit over the last year. Unfortunately, its dividend was not well covered by free cash flow. Overall, it's not a bad combination, but we feel that there are likely more attractive dividend prospects out there.
With that being said, if dividends aren't your biggest concern with Dream International, you should know about the other risks facing this business. For example, we've found 2 warning signs for Dream International (1 is potentially serious!) that deserve your attention before investing in the shares.
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.