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Cummins Inc. (NYSE:CMI) Passed Our Checks, And It's About To Pay A 0.9% Dividend

Simply Wall St

Some investors rely on dividends for growing their wealth, and if you're one of those dividend sleuths, you might be intrigued to know that Cummins Inc. (NYSE:CMI) is about to go ex-dividend in just 2 days. Ex-dividend means that investors that purchase the stock on or after the 20th of August will not receive this dividend, which will be paid on the 3rd of September.

Cummins's next dividend payment will be US$1.31 per share, on the back of last year when the company paid a total of US$5.24 to shareholders. Calculating the last year's worth of payments shows that Cummins has a trailing yield of 3.5% on the current share price of $149.25. 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! So we need to check whether the dividend payments are covered, and if earnings are growing.

Check out our latest analysis for Cummins

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. Fortunately Cummins's payout ratio is modest, at just 28% of profit. A useful secondary check can be to evaluate whether Cummins generated enough free cash flow to afford its dividend. It distributed 32% of its free cash flow as dividends, a comfortable payout level for most companies.

It's positive to see that Cummins's dividend is covered by both profits and cash flow, since this is generally a sign that the dividend is sustainable, and a lower payout ratio usually suggests a greater margin of safety before the dividend gets cut.

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

NYSE:CMI Historical Dividend Yield, August 17th 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. Fortunately for readers, Cummins's earnings per share have been growing at 16% a year for the past five years. The company has managed to grow earnings at a rapid rate, while reinvesting most of the profits within the business. This will make it easier to fund future growth efforts and we think this is an attractive combination - plus the dividend can always be increased later.

Another key way to measure a company's dividend prospects is by measuring its historical rate of dividend growth. Since the start of our data, 10 years ago, Cummins has lifted its dividend by approximately 22% 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.

Final Takeaway

Has Cummins got what it takes to maintain its dividend payments? Cummins has been growing earnings at a rapid rate, and has a conservatively low payout ratio, implying that it is reinvesting heavily in its business; a sterling combination. Overall we think this is an attractive combination and worthy of further research.

Curious what other investors think of Cummins? 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.

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.