Crane Co. (NYSE:CR) is about to trade ex-dividend in the next 3 days. Ex-dividend means that investors that purchase the stock on or after the 29th of August will not receive this dividend, which will be paid on the 9th of September.
Crane's next dividend payment will be US$0.39 per share. Last year, in total, the company distributed US$1.56 to shareholders. Based on the last year's worth of payments, Crane has a trailing yield of 2.1% on the current stock price of $72.81. 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 typically paid from company earnings. If a company pays more in dividends than it earned in profit, then the dividend could be unsustainable. Crane has a low and conservative payout ratio of just 25% of its income after tax. Yet cash flows are even more important than profits for assessing a dividend, so we need to see if the company generated enough cash to pay its distribution. Thankfully its dividend payments took up just 38% 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.
Have Earnings And Dividends Been Growing?
Stocks in companies that generate sustainable earnings growth often make the best dividend prospects, as it is easier to lift the dividend when earnings are rising. Investors love dividends, so if earnings fall and the dividend is reduced, expect a stock to be sold off heavily at the same time. This is why it's a relief to see Crane earnings per share are up 9.7% per annum over the last five years. Management have been reinvested more than half of the company's earnings within the business, and the company has been able to grow earnings with this retained capital. Organisations that reinvest heavily in themselves typically get stronger over time, which can bring attractive benefits such as stronger earnings and dividends.
Many investors will assess a company's dividend performance by evaluating how much the dividend payments have changed over time. Crane has delivered 6.9% dividend growth per year on average over the past 10 years. We're glad to see dividends rising alongside earnings over a number of years, which may be a sign the company intends to share the growth with shareholders.
To Sum It Up
Should investors buy Crane for the upcoming dividend? Earnings per share growth has been growing somewhat, and Crane is paying out less than half its earnings and cash flow as dividends. This is interesting for a few reasons, as it suggests management may be reinvesting heavily in the business, but it also provides room to increase the dividend in time. It might be nice to see earnings growing faster, but Crane is being conservative with its dividend payouts and could still perform reasonably over the long run. There's a lot to like about Crane, and we would prioritise taking a closer look at it.
Curious what other investors think of Crane? See what analysts 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.
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