If there’s one thing income investors love, it’s a high-yielding dividend stock.
But too often the high yield comes with risky metrics like declining revenue and earnings, which could force a company to cut its dividend to ensure it has the available funds to pay its shareholders.
When investors analyze real estate investment trusts (REITs), one important factor to consider is the payout ratio on earnings per share (EPS) for mortgage REITs (mREITs), or funds from operations (FFO) on all other types of REITs. The payout ratio is derived by dividing the annual dividend by the EPS or FFO.
Typically, a REIT with a payout ratio between 35% and 60% is considered ideal and safe from dividend cuts, while ratios between 60% and 75% are moderately safe, and payout ratios above 75% are considered unsafe. As a payout ratio approaches 100% of earnings, it generally portends a high risk for a dividend cut.