Dividend paying stocks like Exchange Income Corporation (TSE:EIF) 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 stock for its dividend and lose money because the share price falls by more than they earned in dividend payments.
With Exchange Income yielding 8.3% and having paid a dividend for over 10 years, many investors likely find the company quite interesting. It would not be a surprise to discover that many investors buy it for the dividends. Remember though, given the recent drop in its share price, Exchange Income’s yield will look higher, even though the market may now be expecting a decline in its long-term prospects. Some simple analysis can reduce the risk of holding Exchange Income for its dividend, and we’ll focus on the most important aspects below.
Companies (usually) pay dividends out of their earnings. If a company is paying more than it earns, the dividend might have to be cut. So we need to form a view on if a company’s dividend is sustainable, relative to its net profit after tax. Looking at the data, we can see that 86% of Exchange Income’s profits were paid out as dividends in the last 12 months. It’s paying out most of its earnings, which limits the amount that can be reinvested in the business. This may indicate limited need for further capital within the business, or highlight a commitment to paying a dividend.
Another important check we do is to see if the free cash flow generated is sufficient to pay the dividend. Last year, Exchange Income paid a dividend while reporting negative free cash flow. While there may be an explanation, we think this behaviour is generally not sustainable.
Is Exchange Income’s Balance Sheet Risky?
As Exchange Income 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 measures total debt load relative to company earnings (lower = less debt), while net interest cover measures the ability to pay interest on the debt (higher = greater ability to pay interest costs). With net debt of 3.32 times its EBITDA, investors are starting to take on a meaningful amount of risk, should the business enter a downturn.
Net interest cover can be calculated by dividing earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) by the company’s net interest expense. With EBIT of 2.71 times its interest expense, Exchange Income’s interest cover is starting to look a bit thin.
We update our data on Exchange Income every 24 hours, so you can always get …
Go to the news source: Here’s How We Evaluate Exchange Income Corporation’s (TSE:EIF) Dividend – Simply…