Category Archives: Seeking Alpha article

Which Stock is More Likely to Cut its Dividend?

Vermilion Energy (TSX:VET)(NYSE:VET) and TORC Oil & Gas (TSX:TOG) are trading at multi-year lows and offer yields of 10% and 7.6%, respectively. Which is more likely to cut its dividend?

There are some things that management can’t control, such as commodity prices, and there are some things that they can control, such as capital allocation (i.e., how much cash flow to allocate for reducing debt, sustaining the business, investing in growth projects, and paying dividends).

Looking at how the companies have handled their capital allocation in the past can give an idea of which oil & gas producer will more likely cut its dividend.

Vermilion

Vermilion’s stock has maintained or increased its cash distribution or dividend every year since 2003. Since 2003, VET’s total payout ratio (which accounts for sustaining capital, growth capital, and dividend) has expanded to as high as 162%, but the company didn’t once cut the dividend.

VET places a high priority on its dividend. If history is indicative of the future, then VET will try to maintain the dividend even when the operating environment is tough.

Notably, VET doesn’t have the tendency to buy back stock like other energy companies, such as Suncor Energy (TSX:SU)(NYSE:SU) and Canadian Natural Resources (TSX:CNQ)(NYSE:CNQ). Last year, the capital the company returned to shareholders was 100% dividends.

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3 Tips To Identify Winning Stocks

If you have stocks that have earnings stability and consistent earnings growth, higher margins compared to their peers, and price growth persistence, they’re probably winners.

If you’ve identified winners in your portfolio, hold on to them through thick and thin, and you’ll be immensely rewarded in the long haul. Oh, and, of course, add to them when they are attractively valued.

Earnings Stability & Growth

Aging and growing populations and advances in technology are reasons that the healthcare sector tends to experience stable growth. The juggernaut in the sector, of course, is no other than Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), which has a piece of the pie in the different areas of Healthcare with a Pharmaceutical segment (about 41% of sales), Medical Devices segment (27%), and Consumer segment (14%).

J&J’s has experienced adjusted EPS growth every single year since 2000. It’s no wonder the company tends to trade at a premium P/E despite having been estimated to grow EPS by only about 6% per year over the next 3-5 years.

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Caution: Avoid Buying This Great REITs for Now

Depending on your investing strategy, you might take (partial) profit off from a holding that has become excessively overvalued or choose to hold on to them as a part of your portfolio for safe income.

However, certainly, when stocks have become pricey as Realty Income (NYSE:O) and Welltower (NYSE:WELL) have, it doesn’t make sense to buy shares, as they’ll likely deliver lackluster returns in the near term. Instead, wait until their valuations have returned to more reasonable levels for a bigger margin of safety and a higher initial yield.

Investors often buy blue-chip REITs for their above-average and generally safe dividends. It’s difficult to say goodbye or even take partial profits from SWAN (sleep well at night) REITs when they have done well.

It’s wonderful if you bought them at a low price when they’re undervalued. But what do you do when they have run up and become excessively overvalued?

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