Is Morguard North American Residential Real Estate Investment Trust (TSE:MRG.UN) An Attractive Dividend Stock?

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Today we’ll take a closer look at Morguard North American Residential Real Estate Investment Trust (TSE:MRG.UN) from a dividend investor’s perspective. Owning a strong business and reinvesting the dividends is widely seen as an attractive way of growing your wealth. If you are hoping to live on your dividends, it’s important to be more stringent with your investments than the average punter. Regular readers know we like to apply the same approach to each dividend stock, and we hope you’ll find our analysis useful.

In this case, Morguard North American Residential Real Estate Investment Trust likely looks attractive to dividend investors, given its 3.7% dividend yield and seven-year payment history. We’d agree the yield does look enticing. There are a few simple ways to reduce the risks of buying Morguard North American Residential Real Estate Investment Trust for its dividend, and we’ll go through these below.

Explore this interactive chart for our latest analysis on Morguard North American Residential Real Estate Investment Trust!

TSX:MRG.UN Historical Dividend Yield, June 12th 2019

Payout ratios

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. Comparing dividend payments to a company’s net profit after tax is a simple way of reality-checking whether a dividend is sustainable. Morguard North American Residential Real Estate Investment Trust paid out 36% of its profit as dividends, over the trailing twelve month period. A medium payout ratio strikes a good balance between paying dividends, and keeping enough back to invest in the business. 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. Of the free cash flow it generated last year, Morguard North American Residential Real Estate Investment Trust paid out 34% as dividends, suggesting the dividend is affordable. It’s encouraging to see that the dividend is covered by both profit and cash flow. This generally suggests the dividend is sustainable, as long as earnings don’t drop precipitously.

We update our data on Morguard North American Residential Real Estate Investment Trust every 24 hours, so you can always get our latest analysis of its financial health, here.

Dividend Volatility

Before buying a stock for its income, we want to see if the dividends have been stable in the past, and if the company has a track record of maintaining its dividend. Looking at the data, we can see that Morguard North American Residential Real Estate Investment Trust has been paying a dividend for the past seven years. Its dividend has not fluctuated much that time, which we like, but we’re conscious that the company might not yet have a track record of maintaining dividends in all economic conditions. During the past seven-year period, the first annual payment was CA$0.60 in 2012, compared to CA$0.68 last year. This works out to be a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 1.8% a year over that time.

We like that the dividend hasn’t been shrinking. However we’re conscious that the company hasn’t got an overly long track record of dividend payments yet, which makes us wary of relying on its dividend income.

Dividend Growth Potential

Examining whether the dividend is affordable and stable is important. However, it’s also important to assess if earnings per share (EPS) are growing. Growing EPS can help maintain or increase the purchasing power of the dividend over the long run. Morguard North American Residential Real Estate Investment Trust has grown its earnings per share at 8.4% per annum over the past five years. Earnings per share have been growing at a credible rate. What’s more, the payout ratio is reasonable and provides some protection to the dividend, or even the potential to increase it.

Conclusion

Dividend investors should always want to know if a) a company’s dividends are affordable, b) if there is a track record of consistent payments, and c) if the dividend is capable of growing. Firstly, we like that Morguard North American Residential Real Estate Investment Trust has low and conservative payout ratios. We were also glad to see it growing earnings, although its dividend history is not as long as we’d like. Overall we think Morguard North American Residential Real Estate Investment Trust scores well on our analysis. It’s not quite perfect, but we’d definitely be keen to take a closer look.

Earnings growth generally bodes well for the future value of company dividend payments. See if the 3 Morguard North American Residential Real Estate Investment Trust analysts we track are forecasting continued growth with our free report on analyst estimates for the company.

We have also put together a list of global stocks with a market capitalisation above $1bn and yielding more 3%.

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.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.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. Thank you for reading.