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American States Water (NYSE:AWR) Is Increasing Its Dividend To $0.3975

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The board of American States Water Company (NYSE:AWR) has announced that it will be increasing its dividend by 8.9% on the 1st of September to $0.3975, up from last year's comparable payment of $0.365. The payment will take the dividend yield to 1.7%, which is in line with the average for the industry.

View our latest analysis for American States Water

American States Water's Payment Has Solid Earnings Coverage

We like a dividend to be consistent over the long term, so checking whether it is sustainable is important. Prior to this announcement, American States Water's earnings easily covered the dividend, but free cash flows were negative. Since a dividend means the company is paying out cash to investors, this could prove to be a problem in the future.

Looking forward, earnings per share is forecast to rise by 23.4% over the next year. If the dividend continues along recent trends, we estimate the payout ratio will be 54%, which is in the range that makes us comfortable with the sustainability of the dividend.

historic-dividend
historic-dividend

American States Water Has A Solid Track Record

The company has been paying a dividend for a long time, and it has been quite stable which gives us confidence in the future dividend potential. Since 2012, the annual payment back then was $0.56, compared to the most recent full-year payment of $1.46. This works out to be a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 10% a year over that time. We can see that payments have shown some very nice upward momentum without faltering, which provides some reassurance that future payments will also be reliable.

American States Water Could Grow Its Dividend

Some investors will be chomping at the bit to buy some of the company's stock based on its dividend history. American States Water has seen EPS rising for the last five years, at 7.3% per annum. While on an earnings basis, this company looks appealing as an income stock, the cash payout ratio still makes us cautious.

Our Thoughts On American States Water's Dividend

Overall, this is probably not a great income stock, even though the dividend is being raised at the moment. While the low payout ratio is redeeming feature, this is offset by the minimal cash to cover the payments. This company is not in the top tier of income providing stocks.

It's important to note that companies having a consistent dividend policy will generate greater investor confidence than those having an erratic one. However, there are other things to consider for investors when analysing stock performance. For example, we've picked out 3 warning signs for American States Water that investors should know about before committing capital to this stock. If you are a dividend investor, you might also want to look at our curated list of high yield dividend stocks.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.

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