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Maple Leaf Foods (TSE:MFI) Will Pay A Dividend Of CA$0.21

Maple Leaf Foods Inc. (TSE:MFI) has announced that it will pay a dividend of CA$0.21 per share on the 29th of December. This payment means that the dividend yield will be 3.4%, which is around the industry average.

Check out our latest analysis for Maple Leaf Foods

Maple Leaf Foods Might Find It Hard To Continue The Dividend

We aren't too impressed by dividend yields unless they can be sustained over time. Even in the absence of profits, Maple Leaf Foods is paying a dividend. It is also not generating any free cash flow, we definitely have concerns when it comes to the sustainability of the dividend.

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Over the next year, EPS might fall by 58.7% based on recent performance. This means the company won't be turning a profit, which could place managers in the tough spot of having to choose between suspending the dividend or putting more pressure on the balance sheet.

historic-dividend
historic-dividend

Maple Leaf Foods Has A Solid Track Record

The company has an extended history of paying stable dividends. Since 2013, the annual payment back then was CA$0.16, compared to the most recent full-year payment of CA$0.84. This works out to be a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 18% a year over that time. It is good to see that there has been strong dividend growth, and that there haven't been any cuts for a long time.

The Dividend Has Limited Growth Potential

The company's investors will be pleased to have been receiving dividend income for some time. Let's not jump to conclusions as things might not be as good as they appear on the surface. Maple Leaf Foods' EPS has fallen by approximately 59% per year during 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.

Maple Leaf Foods' Dividend Doesn't Look Sustainable

Overall, it's nice to see a consistent dividend payment, but we think that longer term, the current level of payment might be unsustainable. We can't deny that the payments have been very stable, but we are a little bit worried about the very high payout ratio. We would be a touch cautious of relying on this stock primarily for the dividend income.

Investors generally tend to favour companies with a consistent, stable dividend policy as opposed to those operating an irregular one. However, there are other things to consider for investors when analysing stock performance. For example, we've picked out 3 warning signs for Maple Leaf Foods that investors should know about before committing capital to this stock. Looking for more high-yielding dividend ideas? Try our collection of strong dividend payers.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

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.