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Citi Trends, Inc. (NASDAQ:CTRN) Looks Like A Good Stock, And It's Going Ex-Dividend Soon

Simply Wall St

Readers hoping to buy Citi Trends, Inc. (NASDAQ:CTRN) for its dividend will need to make their move shortly, as the stock is about to trade ex-dividend. Ex-dividend means that investors that purchase the stock on or after the 30th of August will not receive this dividend, which will be paid on the 17th of September.

Citi Trends's next dividend payment will be US$0.08 per share, and in the last 12 months, the company paid a total of US$0.32 per share. Calculating the last year's worth of payments shows that Citi Trends has a trailing yield of 2.0% on the current share price of $15.99. 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.

See our latest analysis for Citi Trends

Dividends are typically paid out of company income, so if a company pays out more than it earned, its dividend is usually at a higher risk of being cut. Citi Trends paid out a comfortable 26% of its profit last year. Yet cash flow is typically more important than profit for assessing dividend sustainability, so we should always check if the company generated enough cash to afford its dividend. Thankfully its dividend payments took up just 28% of the free cash flow it generated, which is a comfortable payout ratio.

It's encouraging to see that the dividend is covered by both profit and cash flow. This generally suggests the dividend is sustainable, as long as earnings don't drop precipitously.

Click here to see how much of its profit Citi Trends paid out over the last 12 months.

NasdaqGS:CTRN Historical Dividend Yield, August 25th 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. Investors love dividends, so if earnings fall and the dividend is reduced, expect a stock to be sold off heavily at the same time. That's why it's comforting to see Citi Trends's earnings have been skyrocketing, up 108% per annum for the past five years. Citi Trends 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. Citi Trends has delivered 7.5% dividend growth per year on average over the past 4 years. It's encouraging to see the company lifting dividends while earnings are growing, suggesting at least some corporate interest in rewarding shareholders.

Final Takeaway

Is Citi Trends an attractive dividend stock, or better left on the shelf? We love that Citi Trends 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. It's a promising combination that should mark this company worthy of closer attention.

Want to learn more about Citi Trends's dividend performance? Check out this visualisation of its historical revenue and earnings growth.

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.

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.