Southern Copper (NYSE:SCCO) Will Pay A Larger Dividend Than Last Year At $1.00

Southern Copper Corporation (NYSE:SCCO) will increase its dividend from last year's comparable payment on the 23rd of August to $1.00. This will take the dividend yield to an attractive 4.1%, providing a nice boost to shareholder returns.

See our latest analysis for Southern Copper

Southern Copper Is Paying Out More Than It Is Earning

A big dividend yield for a few years doesn't mean much if it can't be sustained. Before making this announcement, the company's dividend was much higher than its earnings. This situation certainly isn't ideal, and could place significant strain on the balance sheet if it continues.

The next 12 months is set to see EPS grow by 6.7%. If the dividend continues on its recent course, the payout ratio in 12 months could be 105%, which is a bit high and could start applying pressure to the balance sheet.

historic-dividendDividend Volatility

The company's dividend history has been marked by instability, with at least one cut in the last 10 years. The annual payment during the last 10 years was $3.71 in 2013, and the most recent fiscal year payment was $3.50. Payments have been decreasing at a very slow pace in this time period. Generally, we don't like to see a dividend that has been declining over time as this can degrade shareholders' returns and indicate that the company may be running into problems.

Southern Copper Might Find It Hard To Grow Its Dividend

With a relatively unstable dividend, it's even more important to evaluate if earnings per share is growing, which could point to a growing dividend in the future. We are encouraged to see that Southern Copper has grown earnings per share at 25% per year over the past five years. Strong earnings is nice to see, but unless this can be sustained on minimal reinvestment of profits, we would question whether dividends will follow suit.

The Dividend Could Prove To Be Unreliable

In summary, while it's always good to see the dividend being raised, we don't think Southern Copper's payments are rock solid. Strong earnings growth means Southern Copper has the potential to be a good dividend stock in the future, despite the current payments being at elevated levels. We would be a touch cautious of relying on this stock primarily for the dividend income.

Market movements attest to how highly valued a consistent dividend policy is compared to one which is more unpredictable. However, there are other things to consider for investors when analysing stock performance. For example, we've identified 2 warning signs for Southern Copper (1 shouldn't be ignored!) that you should be aware of before investing. 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.

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Matt Earle

Matthew Earle is the Founder of MiningFeeds. In 2005, Matt founded MiningNerds.com to provide data and information to the mining investment community. This site was merged with Highgrade Review to form MiningFeeds. Matt has a B.Sc. degree with a minor in geology from the University of Toronto.

By Matt Earle

Matthew Earle is the Founder of MiningFeeds. In 2005, Matt founded MiningNerds.com to provide data and information to the mining investment community. This site was merged with Highgrade Review to form MiningFeeds. Matt has a B.Sc. degree with a minor in geology from the University of Toronto.

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