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Aramark (NYSE:ARMK) Looks Like A Good Stock, And It's Going Ex-Dividend Soon

Simply Wall St

Some investors rely on dividends for growing their wealth, and if you're one of those dividend sleuths, you might be intrigued to know that Aramark (NYSE:ARMK) is about to go ex-dividend in just 4 days. You can purchase shares before the 14th of August in order to receive the dividend, which the company will pay on the 29th of August.

Aramark's next dividend payment will be US$0.11 per share, on the back of last year when the company paid a total of US$0.44 to shareholders. Looking at the last 12 months of distributions, Aramark has a trailing yield of approximately 1.2% on its current stock price of $37.66. If you buy this business for its dividend, you should have an idea of whether Aramark's dividend is reliable and sustainable. We need to see whether the dividend is covered by earnings and if it's growing.

View our latest analysis for Aramark

If a company pays out more in dividends than it earned, then the dividend might become unsustainable - hardly an ideal situation. Aramark is paying out just 20% of its profit after tax, which is comfortably low and leaves plenty of breathing room in the case of adverse events. 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. It paid out 19% of its free cash flow as dividends last year, which is conservatively low.

It's positive to see that Aramark'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.

NYSE:ARMK Historical Dividend Yield, August 9th 2019

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 business enters a downturn and the dividend is cut, the company could see its value fall precipitously. That's why it's comforting to see Aramark's earnings have been skyrocketing, up 44% per annum for the past five years. With earnings per share growing rapidly and the company sensibly reinvesting almost all of its profits within the business, Aramark looks like a promising growth company.

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, 6 years ago, Aramark has lifted its dividend by approximately 6.6% a year on average. We're glad to see dividends rising alongside earnings over a number of years, which may be a sign the company intends to share the growth with shareholders.

To Sum It Up

Should investors buy Aramark for the upcoming dividend? We love that Aramark is growing earnings per share while simultaneously paying out a low percentage of both its earnings and cash flow. These characteristics suggest the company is reinvesting in growing its business, while the conservative payout ratio also implies a reduced risk of the dividend being cut in the future. There's a lot to like about Aramark, and we would prioritise taking a closer look at it.

Wondering what the future holds for Aramark? See what the 11 analysts we track are forecasting, with this visualisation of its historical and future estimated earnings and cash flow

If you're in the market for dividend stocks, we recommend checking our list of top 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.