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Consider This Before Buying Green Plains Inc. (NASDAQ:GPRE) For The 3.0% Dividend

Simply Wall St

A sizeable part of portfolio returns can be produced by dividend stocks due to their contribution to compounding returns in the long run. Historically, Green Plains Inc. (NASDAQ:GPRE) has paid dividends to shareholders, and these days it yields 3.0%. Let’s dig deeper into whether Green Plains should have a place in your portfolio.

Check out our latest analysis for Green Plains

Here’s how I find good dividend stocks

When researching a dividend stock, I always follow the following screening criteria:

  • Does it pay an annual yield higher than 75% of dividend payers?
  • Has it paid dividend every year without dramatically reducing payout in the past?
  • Has dividend per share risen in the past couple of years?
  • Is its earnings sufficient to payout dividend at the current rate?
  • Will it have the ability to keep paying its dividends going forward?
NasdaqGS:GPRE Historical Dividend Yield, March 14th 2019

How well does Green Plains fit our criteria?

Green Plains has a trailing twelve-month payout ratio of 122%, meaning the dividend is not sufficiently covered by its earnings. Going forward, analysts expect GPRE’s payout to increase to 137% of its earnings. Assuming a constant share price, this equates to a dividend yield of around 3.2%. However, EPS is forecasted to fall to $-0.97 in the upcoming year. Therefore, although payout is expected to increase, the fall in earnings may not equate to higher dividend income.

When thinking about whether a dividend is sustainable, another factor to consider is the cash flow. Companies with strong cash flow can sustain a higher payout ratio, while companies with weaker cash flow generally cannot.

If there’s one type of stock you want to be reliable, it’s dividend stocks and their stable income-generating ability. Unfortunately, it is really too early to view Green Plains as a dividend investment. It has only been consistently paying dividends for 6 years, however, standard practice for reliable payers is to look for a 10-year minimum track record.

Compared to its peers, Green Plains has a yield of 3.0%, which is on the low-side for Oil and Gas stocks.

Next Steps:

After digging a little deeper into Green Plains’s yield, it’s easy to see why you should be cautious investing in the company just for the dividend. But if you are not exclusively a dividend investor, the stock could still be an interesting investment opportunity. Given that this is purely a dividend analysis, I recommend taking sufficient time to understand its core business and determine whether the company and its investment properties suit your overall goals. Below, I’ve compiled three key factors you should further research:

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for GPRE’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for GPRE’s outlook.
  2. Historical Performance: What has GPRE’s returns been like over the past? Go into more detail in the past track record analysis and take a look at the free visual representations of our analysis for more clarity.
  3. Dividend Rockstars: Are there better dividend payers with stronger fundamentals out there? Check out our free list of these great stocks here.

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.