Caledonia Investments plc (LON:CLDN) has announced that it will be increasing its dividend on the 4th of August to UK£2.22. This will take the dividend yield from 1.8% to 6.6%, providing a nice boost to shareholder returns.
Caledonia Investments' Dividend Is Well Covered By Earnings
We like to see robust dividend yields, but that doesn't matter if the payment isn't sustainable. Before making this announcement, Caledonia Investments was paying a whopping 99% as a dividend, but this only made up 5.8% of its overall earnings. While the business may be attempting to set a balanced dividend policy, a cash payout ratio this high might expose the dividend to being cut if the business ran into some challenges.
If the trend of the last few years continues, EPS will grow by 16.4% over the next 12 months. If the dividend continues along recent trends, we estimate the payout ratio will be 19%, which is in the range that makes us comfortable with the sustainability of the dividend.
Caledonia Investments Has A Solid Track Record
Even over a long history of paying dividends, the company's distributions have been remarkably stable. Since 2012, the first annual payment was UK£0.43, compared to the most recent full-year payment of UK£0.65. This means that it has been growing its distributions at 4.2% per annum over that time. Although we can't deny that the dividend has been remarkably stable in the past, the growth has been pretty muted.
The Dividend Looks Likely To Grow
Some investors will be chomping at the bit to buy some of the company's stock based on its dividend history. Caledonia Investments has seen EPS rising for the last five years, at 16% per annum. A low payout ratio and decent growth suggests that the company is reinvesting well, and it also has plenty of room to increase the dividend over time.
Overall, this is probably not a great income stock, even though the dividend is being raised at the moment. While the low payout ratio is redeeming feature, this is offset by the minimal cash to cover the payments. We don't think Caledonia Investments is a great stock to add to your portfolio if income is your focus.
Companies possessing a stable dividend policy will likely enjoy greater investor interest than those suffering from a more inconsistent approach. However, there are other things to consider for investors when analysing stock performance. As an example, we've identified 1 warning sign for Caledonia Investments that you should be aware of before investing. Is Caledonia Investments not quite the opportunity you were looking for? Why not check out our selection of top dividend stocks.
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