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More to dividends than meets the eye

Investors have to pay attention to the payout ratio and associate/joint-venture contributions when assessing stocks

Published Sun, Nov 9, 2014 · 09:50 PM

A FEW years ago, I was casually looking through the financial statements of SIA Engineering.

What impressed me then, from that quick glance, was how the Straits Times Index (STI) component stock had negligible debt - just S$2.3 million - and a cash hoard of almost S$400 million.

Its profits were steadily growing. On top of that, the company had paid out a bumper dividend the year before of 30 cents a share. Excluding the 10-cent special dividend, it paid out 20 cents a share.

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