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AudioCodes Ltd. (NASDAQ:AUDC) Looks Interesting, And It's About To Pay A Dividend

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  • AUDC

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 AudioCodes Ltd. (NASDAQ:AUDC) is about to go ex-dividend in just four days. The ex-dividend date is one business day before the record date, which is the cut-off date for shareholders to be present on the company's books to be eligible for a dividend payment. The ex-dividend date is an important date to be aware of as any purchase of the stock made on or after this date might mean a late settlement that doesn't show on the record date. This means that investors who purchase AudioCodes' shares on or after the 10th of August will not receive the dividend, which will be paid on the 26th of August.

The company's next dividend payment will be US$0.17 per share. Last year, in total, the company distributed US$0.34 to shareholders. Looking at the last 12 months of distributions, AudioCodes has a trailing yield of approximately 1.1% on its current stock price of $31.75. Dividends are an important source of income to many shareholders, but the health of the business is crucial to maintaining those dividends. That's why we should always check whether the dividend payments appear sustainable, and if the company is growing.

Check out our latest analysis for AudioCodes

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. Fortunately AudioCodes's payout ratio is modest, at just 32% of profit. 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. Luckily it paid out just 20% of its free cash flow last year.

It's positive to see that AudioCodes'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. It's encouraging to see AudioCodes has grown its earnings rapidly, up 157% a year for the past five years. AudioCodes is paying out less than half its earnings and cash flow, while simultaneously growing earnings per share at a rapid clip. This is a very favourable combination that can often lead to the dividend multiplying over the long term, if earnings grow and the company pays out a higher percentage of its earnings.

Many investors will assess a company's dividend performance by evaluating how much the dividend payments have changed over time. In the past three years, AudioCodes has increased its dividend at approximately 19% a year on average. Both per-share earnings and dividends have both been growing rapidly in recent times, which is great to see.

The Bottom Line

Is AudioCodes an attractive dividend stock, or better left on the shelf? We love that AudioCodes 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. AudioCodes looks solid on this analysis overall, and we'd definitely consider investigating it more closely.

Ever wonder what the future holds for AudioCodes? See what the four analysts we track 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. 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.

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