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American Water Works Company (NYSE:AWK) Is Increasing Its Dividend To US$0.60

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The board of American Water Works Company, Inc. (NYSE:AWK) has announced that it will be increasing its dividend on the 1st of September to US$0.60. This takes the annual payment to 1.4% of the current stock price, which is about average for the industry.

See our latest analysis for American Water Works Company

American Water Works Company's Dividend Is Well Covered By Earnings

We like a dividend to be consistent over the long term, so checking whether it is sustainable is important. Based on the last payment, American Water Works Company's earnings were much higher than the dividend, but it wasn't converting those earnings into cash flow. No cash flows could definitely make returning cash to shareholders difficult, or at least mean the balance sheet will come under pressure.

Over the next year, EPS is forecast to expand by 9.0%. Assuming the dividend continues along recent trends, we think the payout ratio could be 58% by next year, which is in a pretty sustainable range.

historic-dividend
historic-dividend

American Water Works Company Has A Solid Track Record

The company has a sustained record of paying dividends with very little fluctuation. Since 2011, the first annual payment was US$0.88, compared to the most recent full-year payment of US$2.41. This implies that the company grew its distributions at a yearly rate of about 11% over that duration. So, dividends have been growing pretty quickly, and even more impressively, they haven't experienced any notable falls during this period.

We Could See American Water Works Company's Dividend Growing

The company's investors will be pleased to have been receiving dividend income for some time. American Water Works Company has seen EPS rising for the last five years, at 8.2% per annum. The company is paying out a lot of its cash as a dividend, but it looks okay based on the payout ratio.

In Summary

Overall, we always like to see the dividend being raised, but we don't think American Water Works Company will make a great income stock. 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.

Market movements attest to how highly valued a consistent dividend policy is compared to one which is more unpredictable. However, there are other things to consider for investors when analysing stock performance. To that end, American Water Works Company has 2 warning signs (and 1 which shouldn't be ignored) we think you should know about. We have also put together a list of global stocks with a solid dividend.

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. 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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