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Ansell Limited (ASX:ANN) Looks Like A Good Stock, And It's Going Ex-Dividend Soon

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Ansell Limited (ASX:ANN) stock is about to trade ex-dividend in 3 days. The ex-dividend date is one business day before a company's record date, which is the date on which the company determines which shareholders are entitled to receive a dividend. It is important to be aware of the ex-dividend date because any trade on the stock needs to have been settled on or before the record date. Meaning, you will need to purchase Ansell's shares before the 30th of August to receive the dividend, which will be paid on the 16th of September.

The company's next dividend payment will be US$0.44 per share, on the back of last year when the company paid a total of US$0.87 to shareholders. Based on the last year's worth of payments, Ansell has a trailing yield of 3.3% on the current stock price of A$36.7. We love seeing companies pay a dividend, but it's also important to be sure that laying the golden eggs isn't going to kill our golden goose! That's why we should always check whether the dividend payments appear sustainable, and if the company is growing.

View our latest analysis for Ansell

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. That's why it's good to see Ansell paying out a modest 40% of its earnings. A useful secondary check can be to evaluate whether Ansell generated enough free cash flow to afford its dividend. Over the last year, it paid out more than three-quarters (85%) of its free cash flow generated, which is fairly high and may be starting to limit reinvestment in the business.

It's positive to see that Ansell'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.

historic-dividend
historic-dividend

Have Earnings And Dividends Been Growing?

Companies with consistently growing earnings per share generally make the best dividend stocks, as they usually find it easier to grow dividends per share. If earnings fall far enough, the company could be forced to cut its dividend. For this reason, we're glad to see Ansell's earnings per share have risen 16% per annum over the last five years. It paid out more than three-quarters of its earnings in the last year, even though earnings per share are growing rapidly. Higher earnings generally bode well for growing dividends, although with seemingly strong growth prospects we'd wonder why management are not reinvesting more in the business.

Another key way to measure a company's dividend prospects is by measuring its historical rate of dividend growth. Since the start of our data, 10 years ago, Ansell has lifted its dividend by approximately 11% a year on average. It's exciting to see that both earnings and dividends per share have grown rapidly over the past few years.

Final Takeaway

Should investors buy Ansell for the upcoming dividend? From a dividend perspective, we're encouraged to see that earnings per share have been growing, the company is paying out less than half of its earnings, and a bit over half its free cash flow. It's a promising combination that should mark this company worthy of closer attention.

Curious what other investors think of Ansell? 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.

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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