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Emerson Electric Co. (NYSE:EMR) Is About To Go Ex-Dividend, And It Pays A 0.8% Yield

Simply Wall St

Emerson Electric Co. (NYSE:EMR) stock is about to trade ex-dividend in 3 days time. This means that investors who purchase shares on or after the 15th of August will not receive the dividend, which will be paid on the 10th of September.

Emerson Electric's next dividend payment will be US$0.49 per share, and in the last 12 months, the company paid a total of US$1.96 per share. Looking at the last 12 months of distributions, Emerson Electric has a trailing yield of approximately 3.3% on its current stock price of $59.48. If you buy this business for its dividend, you should have an idea of whether Emerson Electric's dividend is reliable and sustainable. That's why we should always check whether the dividend payments appear sustainable, and if the company is growing.

View our latest analysis for Emerson Electric

If a company pays out more in dividends than it earned, then the dividend might become unsustainable - hardly an ideal situation. Emerson Electric paid out more than half (55%) of its earnings last year, which is a regular payout ratio for most companies. That said, even highly profitable companies sometimes might not generate enough cash to pay the dividend, which is why we should always check if the dividend is covered by cash flow. Dividends consumed 57% of the company's free cash flow last year, which is within a normal range for most dividend-paying organisations.

It's positive to see that Emerson Electric'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:EMR Historical Dividend Yield, August 11th 2019

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. With that in mind, we're encouraged by the steady growth at Emerson Electric, with earnings per share up 5.0% on average over the last five years. Earnings growth has been slim and the company is paying out more than half of its earnings. While there is some room to both increase the payout ratio and reinvest in the business, generally the higher a payout ratio goes, the lower a company's prospects for future growth.

Many investors will assess a company's dividend performance by evaluating how much the dividend payments have changed over time. Emerson Electric has delivered 4.0% 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

From a dividend perspective, should investors buy or avoid Emerson Electric? Earnings per share have been growing modestly and Emerson Electric paid out a bit over half of its earnings and free cash flow last year. Overall, it's not a bad combination, but we feel that there are likely more attractive dividend prospects out there.

Ever wonder what the future holds for Emerson Electric? See what the 21 analysts we track 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.