U.S. Markets closed
  • S&P 500

    3,269.96
    -40.15 (-1.21%)
     
  • Dow 30

    26,501.60
    -157.51 (-0.59%)
     
  • Nasdaq

    10,911.59
    -274.00 (-2.45%)
     
  • Russell 2000

    1,538.48
    -23.10 (-1.48%)
     
  • Crude Oil

    35.72
    -0.45 (-1.24%)
     
  • Gold

    1,878.80
    +10.80 (+0.58%)
     
  • Silver

    23.72
    +0.35 (+1.52%)
     
  • EUR/USD

    1.1650
    -0.0029 (-0.2446%)
     
  • 10-Yr Bond

    0.8600
    +0.0250 (+2.99%)
     
  • Vix

    38.02
    +0.43 (+1.14%)
     
  • GBP/USD

    1.2951
    +0.0028 (+0.2163%)
     
  • USD/JPY

    104.6200
    +0.0100 (+0.0096%)
     
  • BTC-USD

    13,767.28
    +152.67 (+1.12%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    265.42
    +1.78 (+0.68%)
     
  • FTSE 100

    5,577.27
    -4.48 (-0.08%)
     
  • Nikkei 225

    22,977.13
    -354.81 (-1.52%)
     

Don't Buy Patterson-UTI Energy, Inc. (NASDAQ:PTEN) For Its Next Dividend Without Doing These Checks

Simply Wall St
·4 mins read

It looks like Patterson-UTI Energy, Inc. (NASDAQ:PTEN) is about to go ex-dividend in the next 4 days. You can purchase shares before the 2nd of September in order to receive the dividend, which the company will pay on the 17th of September.

Patterson-UTI Energy's upcoming dividend is US$0.02 a share, following on from the last 12 months, when the company distributed a total of US$0.08 per share to shareholders. Based on the last year's worth of payments, Patterson-UTI Energy stock has a trailing yield of around 2.1% on the current share price of $3.85. Dividends are a major contributor to investment returns for long term holders, but only if the dividend continues to be paid. That's why we should always check whether the dividend payments appear sustainable, and if the company is growing.

See our latest analysis for Patterson-UTI Energy

If a company pays out more in dividends than it earned, then the dividend might become unsustainable - hardly an ideal situation. Patterson-UTI Energy paid a dividend last year despite being unprofitable. This might be a one-off event, but it's not a sustainable state of affairs in the long run. With the recent loss, it's important to check if the business generated enough cash to pay its dividend. If cash earnings don't cover the dividend, the company would have to pay dividends out of cash in the bank, or by borrowing money, neither of which is long-term sustainable. The good news is it paid out just 9.1% of its free cash flow in the last year.

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

historic-dividend
historic-dividend

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. Patterson-UTI Energy 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. Patterson-UTI Energy has seen its dividend decline 8.8% per annum on average over the past 10 years, which is not great to see. While it's not great that earnings and dividends per share have fallen in recent years, we're encouraged by the fact that management has trimmed the dividend rather than risk over-committing the company in a risky attempt to maintain yields to shareholders.

We update our analysis on Patterson-UTI Energy every 24 hours, so you can always get the latest insights on its financial health, here.

Final Takeaway

Is Patterson-UTI Energy worth buying for its dividend? First, it's not great to see the company paying a dividend despite being loss-making over the last year. On the plus side, the dividend was covered by free 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 in mind though, if the poor dividend characteristics of Patterson-UTI Energy don't faze you, it's worth being mindful of the risks involved with this business. To that end, you should learn about the 3 warning signs we've spotted with Patterson-UTI Energy (including 1 which can't be ignored).

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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team@simplywallst.com.