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On the 17 May 2019, California Water Service Group (NYSE:CWT) will be paying shareholders an upcoming dividend amount of US$0.20 per share. However, investors must have bought the company's stock before 03 May 2019 in order to qualify for the payment. That means you have only 2 days left! Investors looking for higher income-generating stocks to add to their portfolio should keep reading, as I take a deeper dive into California Water Service Group's latest financial data to analyse its dividend attributes.
5 checks you should do on a dividend stock
Whenever I am looking at a potential dividend stock investment, I always check these five metrics:
- Is their annual yield among the top 25% of dividend payers?
- Has it consistently paid a stable dividend without missing a payment or drastically cutting payout?
- Has dividend per share risen in the past couple of years?
- Can it afford to pay the current rate of dividends from its earnings?
- Will it have the ability to keep paying its dividends going forward?
Does California Water Service Group pass our checks?
The current trailing twelve-month payout ratio for the stock is 62%, which means that the dividend is covered by earnings. However, going forward, analysts expect CWT's payout to fall to 47% of its earnings. Assuming a constant share price, this equates to a dividend yield of around 1.7%. However, EPS should increase to $1.44, meaning that the lower payout ratio does not necessarily implicate a lower dividend payment.
When considering the sustainability of dividends, it is also worth checking the cash flow of a company. Companies with strong cash flow can sustain a higher payout ratio, while companies with weaker cash flow generally cannot.
Reliablity is an important factor for dividend stocks, particularly for income investors who want a strong track record of payment and a positive outlook for future payout. In the case of CWT it has increased its DPS from $0.59 to $0.79 in the past 10 years. It has also been paying out dividend consistently during this time, as you'd expect for a company increasing its dividend levels. This is an impressive feat, which makes CWT a true dividend rockstar.
Relative to peers, California Water Service Group produces a yield of 1.6%, which is on the low-side for Water Utilities stocks.
Considering the dividend attributes we analyzed above, California Water Service Group is definitely worth keeping an eye on for someone looking to build a dedicated income portfolio. Given that this is purely a dividend analysis, I urge potential investors to try and get a good understanding of the underlying business and its fundamentals before deciding on an investment. There are three relevant aspects you should look at:
- Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for CWT’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for CWT’s outlook.
- Historical Performance: What has CWT's returns been like over the past? Go into more detail in the past track record analysis and take a look at the free visual representations of our analysis for more clarity.
- Other Dividend Rockstars: Are there better dividend payers with stronger fundamentals out there? Check out our free list of these great stocks here.
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 email@example.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.