Kinder Morgan, Inc. (NYSE:KMI) has announced that it will pay a dividend of US$0.27 per share on the 16th of August. This means the annual payment is 6.1% of the current stock price, which is above the average for the industry.
Kinder Morgan Is Paying Out More Than It Is Earning
A big dividend yield for a few years doesn't mean much if it can't be sustained. Based on the last payment, Kinder Morgan's 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 24.7% over the next year. If the dividend continues on its recent course, the payout ratio in 12 months could be 103%, which is a bit high and could start applying pressure to the balance sheet.
Although the company has a long dividend history, it has been cut at least once in the last 10 years. Since 2011, the first annual payment was US$1.16, compared to the most recent full-year payment of US$1.08. Payments have been decreasing at a very slow pace in this time period. Generally, we don't like to see a dividend that has been declining over time as this can degrade shareholders' returns and indicate that the company may be running into problems.
Kinder Morgan Might Find It Hard To Grow Its Dividend
Given that the dividend has been cut in the past, we need to check if earnings are growing and if that might lead to stronger dividends in the future. It's encouraging to see Kinder Morgan has been growing its earnings per share at 91% a year over the past five years. Strong earnings is nice to see, but unless this can be sustained on minimal reinvestment of profits, we would question whether dividends will follow suit.
Our Thoughts On Kinder Morgan's Dividend
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 don't think Kinder Morgan is a great stock to add to your portfolio if income is your focus.
It's important to note that companies having a consistent dividend policy will generate greater investor confidence than those having an erratic one. However, there are other things to consider for investors when analysing stock performance. To that end, Kinder Morgan has 3 warning signs (and 2 which shouldn't be ignored) we think you should know about. We have also put together a list of global stocks with a solid dividend.
This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. 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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