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3 Days To Buy BigBen Interactive (EPA:BIG) Before The Ex-Dividend Date

Simply Wall St

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BigBen Interactive (EPA:BIG) is about to trade ex-dividend in the next 3 days. If you purchase the stock on or after the 24th of July, you won't be eligible to receive this dividend, when it is paid on the 26th of July.

BigBen Interactive's next dividend payment will be €0.20 per share. Last year, in total, the company distributed €0.20 to shareholders. Looking at the last 12 months of distributions, BigBen Interactive has a trailing yield of approximately 1.7% on its current stock price of €11.92. Dividends are an important source of income to many shareholders, but the health of the business is crucial to maintaining those dividends. So we need to check whether the dividend payments are covered, and if earnings are growing.

See our latest analysis for BigBen Interactive

If a company pays out more in dividends than it earned, then the dividend might become unsustainable - hardly an ideal situation. BigBen Interactive has a low and conservative payout ratio of just 22% of its income after tax. A useful secondary check can be to evaluate whether BigBen Interactive generated enough free cash flow to afford its dividend.

BigBen Interactive paid a dividend despite reporting negative free cash flow last year. That's typically a bad combination and - if this were more than a one-off - not sustainable.

It's positive to see that BigBen Interactive's dividend is covered by both profits and cash flow, since this is generally a sign that the dividend is sustainable, and a lower payout ratio usually suggests a greater margin of safety before the dividend gets cut.

Click here to see the company's payout ratio, plus analyst estimates of its future dividends.

ENXTPA:BIG Historical Dividend Yield, July 20th 2019

Have Earnings And Dividends Been Growing?

Businesses with strong growth prospects usually make the best dividend payers, because it's easier to grow dividends when earnings per share are improving. If business enters a downturn and the dividend is cut, the company could see its value fall precipitously. That's why it's comforting to see BigBen Interactive's earnings have been skyrocketing, up 43% per annum for the past five years.

Many investors will assess a company's dividend performance by evaluating how much the dividend payments have changed over time. BigBen Interactive's dividend payments per share have declined at 2.2% per year on average over the past 10 years, which is uninspiring. It's unusual to see earnings per share increasing at the same time as dividends per share have been in decline. We'd hope it's because the company is reinvesting heavily in its business, but it could also suggest business is lumpy.

To Sum It Up

Should investors buy BigBen Interactive for the upcoming dividend? We're glad to see the company has been improving its earnings per share while also paying out a low percentage of income. However, it's not great to see it paying out what we see as an uncomfortably high percentage of its cash flow. It might be worth researching if the company is reinvesting in growth projects that could grow earnings and dividends in the future, but for now we're not all that optimistic on its dividend prospects.

Ever wonder what the future holds for BigBen Interactive? See what the five analysts we track are forecasting, with this visualisation of its historical and future estimated earnings and cash flow

We wouldn't recommend just buying the first dividend stock you see, though. Here's a list of interesting dividend stocks with a greater than 2% yield and an upcoming dividend.

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.