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Don't Race Out To Buy American International Group, Inc. (NYSE:AIG) Just Because It's Going Ex-Dividend

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It looks like American International Group, Inc. (NYSE:AIG) is about to go ex-dividend in the next four days. The ex-dividend date is one business day before the record date, which is the cut-off date for shareholders to be present on the company's books to be eligible for a dividend payment. The ex-dividend date is important because any transaction on a stock needs to have been settled before the record date in order to be eligible for a dividend. Accordingly, American International Group investors that purchase the stock on or after the 14th of June will not receive the dividend, which will be paid on the 29th of June.

The company's next dividend payment will be US$0.32 per share, on the back of last year when the company paid a total of US$1.28 to shareholders. Based on the last year's worth of payments, American International Group stock has a trailing yield of around 2.4% on the current share price of $53.23. 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.

View our latest analysis for American International Group

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. American International Group reported a loss last year, so it's not great to see that it has continued paying a dividend.

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

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Have Earnings And Dividends Been Growing?

Companies with falling earnings are riskier for dividend shareholders. If earnings fall far enough, the company could be forced to cut its dividend. American International Group reported a loss last year, and the general trend suggests its earnings have also been declining in recent years, making us wonder if the dividend is at risk.

The main way most investors will assess a company's dividend prospects is by checking the historical rate of dividend growth. In the past eight years, American International Group has increased its dividend at approximately 16% a year on average.

Remember, you can always get a snapshot of American International Group's financial health, by checking our visualisation of its financial health, here.

The Bottom Line

Is American International Group an attractive dividend stock, or better left on the shelf? It's hard to get past the idea of American International Group paying a dividend despite reporting a loss over the past year - especially when the general trend in its earnings also looks to be negative. All things considered, we're not optimistic about its dividend prospects, and would be inclined to leave it on the shelf for now.

So if you're still interested in American International Group despite it's poor dividend qualities, you should be well informed on some of the risks facing this stock. For example, American International Group has 3 warning signs (and 1 which doesn't sit too well with us) we think you should know about.

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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