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4 Days Left Until CF Industries Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:CF) Trades Ex-Dividend

Simply Wall St

CF Industries Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:CF) is about to trade ex-dividend in the next 4 days. You will need to purchase shares before the 13th of February to receive the dividend, which will be paid on the 28th of February.

CF Industries Holdings's next dividend payment will be US$0.30 per share, and in the last 12 months, the company paid a total of US$1.20 per share. Based on the last year's worth of payments, CF Industries Holdings stock has a trailing yield of around 2.8% on the current share price of $42.17. If you buy this business for its dividend, you should have an idea of whether CF Industries Holdings's dividend is reliable and sustainable. So we need to investigate whether CF Industries Holdings can afford its dividend, and if the dividend could grow.

Check out our latest analysis for CF Industries Holdings

Dividends are usually paid out of company profits, so if a company pays out more than it earned then its dividend is usually at greater risk of being cut. CF Industries Holdings is paying out an acceptable 55% of its profit, a common payout level among most companies. That said, even highly profitable companies sometimes might not generate enough cash to pay the dividend, which is why we should always check if the dividend is covered by cash flow. Thankfully its dividend payments took up just 27% of the free cash flow it generated, which is a comfortable payout ratio.

It's encouraging to see that the dividend is covered by both profit and cash flow. This generally suggests the dividend is sustainable, as long as earnings don't drop precipitously.

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

NYSE:CF Historical Dividend Yield, February 8th 2020

Have Earnings And Dividends Been Growing?

Companies with falling earnings are riskier for dividend shareholders. Investors love dividends, so if earnings fall and the dividend is reduced, expect a stock to be sold off heavily at the same time. Readers will understand then, why we're concerned to see CF Industries Holdings's earnings per share have dropped 15% a year over the past five years. Ultimately, when earnings per share decline, the size of the pie from which dividends can be paid, shrinks.

The main way most investors will assess a company's dividend prospects is by checking the historical rate of dividend growth. In the last ten years, CF Industries Holdings has lifted its dividend by approximately 31% a year on average. That's interesting, but the combination of a growing dividend despite declining earnings can typically only be achieved by paying out more of the company's profits. This can be valuable for shareholders, but it can't go on forever.

To Sum It Up

From a dividend perspective, should investors buy or avoid CF Industries Holdings? The payout ratios are within a reasonable range, implying the dividend may be sustainable. Declining earnings are a serious concern, however, and could pose a threat to the dividend in future. Overall, it's hard to get excited about CF Industries Holdings from a dividend perspective.

Ever wonder what the future holds for CF Industries Holdings? See what the 20 analysts we track are forecasting, with this visualisation of its historical and future estimated earnings and cash flow

A common investment mistake is buying the first interesting stock you see. Here you can find a list of promising dividend stocks with a greater than 2% yield and an upcoming dividend.

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.

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. Thank you for reading.