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3 Days Left Until Brinker International, Inc. (NYSE:EAT) Trades Ex-Dividend

Simply Wall St

Brinker International, Inc. (NYSE:EAT) is about to trade ex-dividend in the next 3 days. If you purchase the stock on or after the 5th of September, you won't be eligible to receive this dividend, when it is paid on the 26th of September.

Brinker International's next dividend payment will be US$0.38 per share, on the back of last year when the company paid a total of US$1.52 to shareholders. Last year's total dividend payments show that Brinker International has a trailing yield of 4.0% on the current share price of $38. If you buy this business for its dividend, you should have an idea of whether Brinker International's dividend is reliable and sustainable. As a result, readers should always check whether Brinker International has been able to grow its dividends, or if the dividend might be cut.

See our latest analysis for Brinker International

If a company pays out more in dividends than it earned, then the dividend might become unsustainable - hardly an ideal situation. Brinker International paid out a comfortable 38% of its profit last year. Yet cash flow is typically more important than profit for assessing dividend sustainability, so we should always check if the company generated enough cash to afford its dividend. Over the past year it paid out 134% of its free cash flow as dividends, which is uncomfortably high. We're curious about why the company paid out more cash than it generated last year, since this can be one of the early signs that a dividend may be unsustainable.

Brinker International paid out less in dividends than it reported in profits, but unfortunately it didn't generate enough cash to cover the dividend. Cash is king, as they say, and were Brinker International to repeatedly pay dividends that aren't well covered by cashflow, we would consider this a warning sign.

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

NYSE:EAT Historical Dividend Yield, September 1st 2019

Have Earnings And Dividends Been Growing?

Stocks in companies that generate sustainable earnings growth often make the best dividend prospects, as it is easier to lift the dividend when earnings are rising. If business enters a downturn and the dividend is cut, the company could see its value fall precipitously. For this reason, we're glad to see Brinker International's earnings per share have risen 12% per annum over the last five years. Earnings have been growing at a decent rate, but we're concerned dividend payments consumed most of the company's cash flow over the past year.

The main way most investors will assess a company's dividend prospects is by checking the historical rate of dividend growth. In the past 10 years, Brinker International has increased its dividend at approximately 13% a year on average. It's great to see earnings per share growing rapidly over several years, and dividends per share growing right along with it.

Final Takeaway

Has Brinker International got what it takes to maintain its dividend payments? 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. To summarise, Brinker International looks okay on this analysis, although it doesn't appear a stand-out opportunity.

Curious what other investors think of Brinker International? See what analysts 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.