Could Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE:OMC) be an attractive dividend share to own for the long haul? Investors are often drawn to strong companies with the idea of reinvesting the dividends. Unfortunately, it's common for investors to be enticed in by the seemingly attractive yield, and lose money when the company has to cut its dividend payments.
In this case, Omnicom Group likely looks attractive to investors, given its 5.3% dividend yield and a payment history of over ten years. It would not be a surprise to discover that many investors buy it for the dividends. The company also bought back stock during the year, equivalent to approximately 4.9% of the company's market capitalisation at the time. Remember though, given the recent drop in its share price, Omnicom Group'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 Omnicom Group for its dividend, and we'll focus on the most important aspects below.
Dividends are typically paid from company earnings. If a company pays more in dividends than it earned, then the dividend might become unsustainable - hardly an ideal situation. So we need to form a view on if a company's dividend is sustainable, relative to its net profit after tax. In the last year, Omnicom Group paid out 43% of its profit as dividends. This is a medium payout level that leaves enough capital in the business to fund opportunities that might arise, while also rewarding shareholders. Plus, there is room to increase the payout ratio over time.
Another important check we do is to see if the free cash flow generated is sufficient to pay the dividend. Omnicom Group paid out a conservative 49% of its free cash flow as dividends last year. It's positive to see that Omnicom Group's dividend is covered by both profits and cash flow, since this is generally a sign that the dividend is sustainable, and a lower payout ratio usually suggests a greater margin of safety before the dividend gets cut.
Consider getting our latest analysis on Omnicom Group's financial position here.
From the perspective of an income investor who wants to earn dividends for many years, there is not much point buying a stock if its dividend is regularly cut or is not reliable. For the purpose of this article, we only scrutinise the last decade of Omnicom Group's dividend payments. During this period the dividend has been stable, which could imply the business could have relatively consistent earnings power. During the past ten-year period, the first annual payment was US$0.60 in 2010, compared to US$2.60 last year. This works out to be a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 16% a year over that time.
Dividends have been growing pretty quickly, and even more impressively, they haven't experienced any notable falls during this period.
Dividend Growth Potential
While dividend payments have been relatively reliable, it would also be nice if earnings per share (EPS) were growing, as this is essential to maintaining the dividend's purchasing power over the long term. Earnings have grown at around 7.5% a year for the past five years, which is better than seeing them shrink! It's good to see decent earnings growth and a low payout ratio. Companies with these characteristics often display the fastest dividend growth over the long term - assuming earnings can be maintained, of course.
To summarise, shareholders should always check that Omnicom Group's dividends are affordable, that its dividend payments are relatively stable, and that it has decent prospects for growing its earnings and dividend. First, we like that the company's dividend payments appear well covered, although the retained capital also needs to be effectively reinvested. Earnings per share growth has been slow, but we respect a company that maintains a relatively stable dividend. Overall we think Omnicom Group scores well on our analysis. It's not quite perfect, but we'd definitely be keen to take a closer look.
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 instance, we've picked out 2 warning signs for Omnicom Group that investors should take into consideration.
Looking for more high-yielding dividend ideas? Try our curated list of dividend stocks with a yield above 3%.
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.com. 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. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned.
We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Thank you for reading.