H&T Group (LON:HAT) Is Increasing Its Dividend To £0.05

·3 min read

H&T Group plc (LON:HAT) has announced that it will be increasing its dividend from last year's comparable payment on the 7th of October to £0.05. Even though the dividend went up, the yield is still quite low at only 2.9%.

View our latest analysis for H&T Group

H&T Group's Dividend Is Well Covered By Earnings

While yield is important, another factor to consider about a company's dividend is whether the current payout levels are feasible. Based on the last payment, H&T Group's earnings were much higher than the dividend, but it wasn't converting those earnings into cash flow. Since a dividend means the company is paying out cash to investors, this could prove to be a problem in the future.

According to analysts, EPS should be several times higher next year. If the dividend extends its recent trend, estimates say the dividend could reach 21%, which we would be comfortable to see continuing.

historic-dividend
historic-dividend

Dividend Volatility

While the company has been paying a dividend for a long time, it has cut the dividend at least once in the last 10 years. Since 2012, the annual payment back then was £0.108, compared to the most recent full-year payment of £0.13. This implies that the company grew its distributions at a yearly rate of about 1.9% over that duration. Modest growth in the dividend is good to see, but we think this is offset by historical cuts to the payments. It is hard to live on a dividend income if the company's earnings are not consistent.

Dividend Growth Is Doubtful

With a relatively unstable dividend, it's even more important to see if earnings per share is growing. In the last five years, H&T Group's earnings per share has shrunk at approximately 5.1% per annum. A modest decline in earnings isn't great, and it makes it quite unlikely that the dividend will grow in the future unless that trend can be reversed. Earnings are forecast to grow over the next 12 months and if that happens we could still be a little bit cautious until it becomes a pattern.

The Dividend Could Prove To Be Unreliable

In summary, while it's always good to see the dividend being raised, we don't think H&T Group's payments are rock solid. With cash flows lacking, it is difficult to see how the company can sustain a dividend payment. We don't think H&T Group is a great stock to add to your portfolio if income is your focus.

Market movements attest to how highly valued a consistent dividend policy is compared to one which is more unpredictable. At the same time, there are other factors our readers should be conscious of before pouring capital into a stock. For example, we've identified 3 warning signs for H&T Group (1 is potentially serious!) that you should be aware of before investing. Is H&T Group not quite the opportunity you were looking for? Why not check out our selection of top dividend stocks.

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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.

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