Personal Group Holdings Plc's (LON:PGH) investors are due to receive a payment of £0.053 per share on 15th of November. Based on this payment, the dividend yield will be 5.8%, which is fairly typical for the industry.
While the dividend yield is important for income investors, it is also important to consider any large share price moves, as this will generally outweigh any gains from distributions. Personal Group Holdings' stock price has reduced by 32% in the last 3 months, which is not ideal for investors and can explain a sharp increase in the dividend yield.
Personal Group Holdings Is Paying Out More Than It Is Earning
Unless the payments are sustainable, the dividend yield doesn't mean too much. Based on the last payment, Personal Group Holdings' profits didn't cover the dividend, but the company was generating enough cash instead. Given that the dividend is a cash outflow, we think that cash is more important than accounting measures of profit when assessing the dividend, so this is a mitigating factor.
Earnings per share is forecast to rise by 63.2% over the next year. However, if the dividend continues along recent trends, it could start putting pressure on the balance sheet with the payout ratio reaching 126% over the next year.
Although the company has a long dividend history, it has been cut at least once in the last 10 years. Since 2012, the annual payment back then was £0.178, compared to the most recent full-year payment of £0.106. This works out to be a decline of approximately 5.1% per year over that time. Declining dividends isn't generally what we look for as they can indicate that the company is running into some challenges.
Dividend Growth Potential Is Shaky
Dividends have been going in the wrong direction, so we definitely want to see a different trend in the earnings per share. Personal Group Holdings' earnings per share has shrunk at 30% a year over the past five years. A sharp decline in earnings per share is not great from from a dividend perspective. Even conservative payout ratios can come under pressure if earnings fall far enough. Over the next year, however, earnings are actually predicted to rise, but we would still be cautious until a track record of earnings growth can be built.
Personal Group Holdings' Dividend Doesn't Look Sustainable
Overall, we don't think this company makes a great dividend stock, even though the dividend wasn't cut this year. In the past, the payments have been unstable, but over the short term the dividend could be reliable, with the company generating enough cash to cover it. We would be a touch cautious of relying on this stock primarily for the dividend income.
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. For example, we've picked out 3 warning signs for Personal Group Holdings that investors should know about before committing capital to this stock. If you are a dividend investor, you might also want to look at our curated list of high yield 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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