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Regular readers will know that we love our dividends at Simply Wall St, which is why it's exciting to see Owens Corning (NYSE:OC) is about to trade ex-dividend in the next 4 days. This means that investors who purchase shares on or after the 4th of March will not receive the dividend, which will be paid on the 2nd of April.
Owens Corning's next dividend payment will be US$0.26 per share. Last year, in total, the company distributed US$1.04 to shareholders. Based on the last year's worth of payments, Owens Corning stock has a trailing yield of around 1.3% on the current share price of $81.02. 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 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. Owens Corning reported a loss last year, so it's not great to see that it has continued paying a dividend. With the recent loss, it's important to check if the business generated enough cash to pay its dividend. If Owens Corning didn't generate enough cash to pay the dividend, then it must have either paid from cash in the bank or by borrowing money, neither of which is sustainable in the long term. Luckily it paid out just 13% of its free cash flow last year.
Have Earnings And Dividends Been Growing?
Businesses with shrinking earnings are tricky from a dividend perspective. If earnings decline and the company is forced to cut its dividend, investors could watch the value of their investment go up in smoke. Owens Corning was unprofitable last year and, unfortunately, the general trend suggests its earnings have been in decline over the last five years, making us wonder if the dividend is sustainable at all.
The main way most investors will assess a company's dividend prospects is by checking the historical rate of dividend growth. In the past seven years, Owens Corning has increased its dividend at approximately 7.2% a year on average.
The Bottom Line
From a dividend perspective, should investors buy or avoid Owens Corning? We're a bit uncomfortable with it paying a dividend while being loss-making. However, we note that the dividend was covered by cash flow. It's not the most attractive proposition from a dividend perspective, and we'd probably give this one a miss for now.
With that being said, if you're still considering Owens Corning as an investment, you'll find it beneficial to know what risks this stock is facing. In terms of investment risks, we've identified 1 warning sign with Owens Corning and understanding them should be part of your investment process.
If you're in the market for dividend stocks, we recommend checking our list of top 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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