It looks like Collins Foods Limited (ASX:CKF) is about to go ex-dividend in the next 4 days. This means that investors who purchase shares on or after the 15th of July will not receive the dividend, which will be paid on the 30th of July.
Collins Foods's next dividend payment will be AU$0.10 per share, on the back of last year when the company paid a total of AU$0.20 to shareholders. Calculating the last year's worth of payments shows that Collins Foods has a trailing yield of 2.2% on the current share price of A$9.12. 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! We need to see whether the dividend is covered by earnings and if it's growing.
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. Collins Foods paid out 75% of its earnings to investors last year, a normal payout level for most businesses. A useful secondary check can be to evaluate whether Collins Foods generated enough free cash flow to afford its dividend. It distributed 25% of its free cash flow as dividends, a comfortable payout level for most companies.
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.
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. Fortunately for readers, Collins Foods's earnings per share have been growing at 12% a year for the past five years. Collins Foods is paying out a bit over half its earnings, which suggests the company is striking a balance between reinvesting in growth, and paying dividends. This is a reasonable combination that could hint at some further dividend increases in the future.
Many investors will assess a company's dividend performance by evaluating how much the dividend payments have changed over time. Collins Foods has delivered 15% dividend growth per year on average over the past eight years. It's exciting to see that both earnings and dividends per share have grown rapidly over the past few years.
The Bottom Line
Should investors buy Collins Foods for the upcoming dividend? Collins Foods's growing earnings per share and conservative payout ratios make for a decent combination. We also like that it paid out a lower percentage of its cash flow. Overall we think this is an attractive combination and worthy of further research.
With that in mind, a critical part of thorough stock research is being aware of any risks that stock currently faces. For example, Collins Foods has 2 warning signs (and 1 which is a bit concerning) we think you should know about.
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.
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.
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