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Fastenal Company (NASDAQ:FAST) Stock Goes Ex-Dividend In Just Four Days

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  • FAST

Readers hoping to buy Fastenal Company (NASDAQ:FAST) for its dividend will need to make their move shortly, as the stock is about to trade ex-dividend. You will need to purchase shares before the 2nd of February to receive the dividend, which will be paid on the 3rd of March.

Fastenal's next dividend payment will be US$0.28 per share, and in the last 12 months, the company paid a total of US$1.12 per share. Based on the last year's worth of payments, Fastenal has a trailing yield of 2.3% on the current stock price of $47.82. 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 Fastenal

If a company pays out more in dividends than it earned, then the dividend might become unsustainable - hardly an ideal situation. Fastenal paid out 67% of its earnings to investors last year, a normal payout level for most businesses. A useful secondary check can be to evaluate whether Fastenal generated enough free cash flow to afford its dividend. Dividends consumed 61% 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 Fastenal'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.

historic-dividend
historic-dividend

Have Earnings And Dividends Been Growing?

Businesses with strong growth prospects usually make the best dividend payers, because it's easier to grow dividends when earnings per share are improving. If business enters a downturn and the dividend is cut, the company could see its value fall precipitously. Fortunately for readers, Fastenal's earnings per share have been growing at 11% a year for the past five years. Fastenal has an average payout ratio which suggests a balance between growing earnings and rewarding shareholders. Given the quick rate of earnings per share growth and current level of payout, there may be a chance of further dividend increases in the future.

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, Fastenal has lifted its dividend by approximately 18% a year on average. It's exciting to see that both earnings and dividends per share have grown rapidly over the past few years.

To Sum It Up

Is Fastenal worth buying for its dividend? It's good to see earnings are growing, since all of the best dividend stocks grow their earnings meaningfully over the long run. However, we'd also note that Fastenal is paying out more than half of its earnings and cash flow as profits, which could limit the dividend growth if earnings growth slows. While it does have some good things going for it, we're a bit ambivalent and it would take more to convince us of Fastenal's dividend merits.

With that in mind, a critical part of thorough stock research is being aware of any risks that stock currently faces. Case in point: We've spotted 1 warning sign for Fastenal you should be aware of.

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.

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 (at) simplywallst.com.