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Should You Buy Synchrony Financial (NYSE:SYF) For Its Upcoming Dividend In 4 Days?

Simply Wall St

Readers hoping to buy Synchrony Financial (NYSE:SYF) for its dividend will need to make their move shortly, as the stock is about to trade ex-dividend. This means that investors who purchase shares on or after the 1st of November will not receive the dividend, which will be paid on the 14th of November.

Synchrony Financial's next dividend payment will be US$0.2 per share. Last year, in total, the company distributed US$0.9 to shareholders. Last year's total dividend payments show that Synchrony Financial has a trailing yield of 2.5% on the current share price of $35.29. 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! As a result, readers should always check whether Synchrony Financial has been able to grow its dividends, or if the dividend might be cut.

Check out our latest analysis for Synchrony Financial

If a company pays out more in dividends than it earned, then the dividend might become unsustainable - hardly an ideal situation. Synchrony Financial paid out just 15% of its profit last year, which we think is conservatively low and leaves plenty of margin for unexpected circumstances.

Companies that pay out less in dividends than they earn in profits generally have more sustainable dividends. The lower the payout ratio, the more wiggle room the business has before it could be forced to cut the dividend.

Click here to see the company's payout ratio, plus analyst estimates of its future dividends.

NYSE:SYF Historical Dividend Yield, October 27th 2019

Have Earnings And Dividends Been Growing?

Businesses with strong growth prospects usually make the best dividend payers, because it's easier to grow dividends when earnings per share are improving. Investors love dividends, so if earnings fall and the dividend is reduced, expect a stock to be sold off heavily at the same time. For this reason, we're glad to see Synchrony Financial's earnings per share have risen 14% per annum over the last five years.

Many investors will assess a company's dividend performance by evaluating how much the dividend payments have changed over time. In the last three years, Synchrony Financial has lifted its dividend by approximately 19% a year on average. It's great to see earnings per share growing rapidly over several years, and dividends per share growing right along with it.

To Sum It Up

Has Synchrony Financial got what it takes to maintain its dividend payments? When companies are growing rapidly and retaining a majority of the profits within the business, it's usually a sign that reinvesting earnings creates more value than paying dividends to shareholders. Perhaps even more importantly - this can sometimes signal management is focused on the long term future of the business. In summary, Synchrony Financial appears to have some promise as a dividend stock, and we'd suggest taking a closer look at it.

Ever wonder what the future holds for Synchrony Financial? See what the 13 analysts we track are forecasting, with this visualisation of its historical and future estimated earnings and cash flow

A common investment mistake is buying the first interesting stock you see. Here you can find a list of promising 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.