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FLIR Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:FLIR)'s Could Be A Buy For Its Upcoming Dividend

Simply Wall St

Readers hoping to buy FLIR Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:FLIR) for its dividend will need to make their move shortly, as the stock is about to trade ex-dividend. Ex-dividend means that investors that purchase the stock on or after the 22nd of August will not receive this dividend, which will be paid on the 6th of September.

FLIR Systems's next dividend payment will be US$0.17 per share. Last year, in total, the company distributed US$0.68 to shareholders. Last year's total dividend payments show that FLIR Systems has a trailing yield of 1.4% on the current share price of $46.98. If you buy this business for its dividend, you should have an idea of whether FLIR Systems's dividend is reliable and sustainable. So we need to investigate whether FLIR Systems can afford its dividend, and if the dividend could grow.

View our latest analysis for FLIR Systems

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. That's why it's good to see FLIR Systems paying out a modest 32% of its earnings. 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. Fortunately, it paid out only 29% of its free cash flow in the past year.

It's encouraging to see that the dividend is covered by both profit and cash flow. This generally suggests the dividend is sustainable, as long as earnings don't drop precipitously.

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

NasdaqGS:FLIR Historical Dividend Yield, August 17th 2019

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, FLIR Systems's earnings per share have been growing at 11% a year for the past five years. The company has managed to grow earnings at a rapid rate, while reinvesting most of the profits within the business. Fast-growing businesses that are reinvesting heavily are enticing from a dividend perspective, especially since they can often increase the payout ratio later.

Many investors will assess a company's dividend performance by evaluating how much the dividend payments have changed over time. In the last 9 years, FLIR Systems has lifted its dividend by approximately 12% a year on average. It's great to see earnings per share growing rapidly over several years, and dividends per share growing right along with it.

The Bottom Line

From a dividend perspective, should investors buy or avoid FLIR Systems? We love that FLIR Systems is growing earnings per share while simultaneously paying out a low percentage of both its earnings and cash flow. These characteristics suggest the company is reinvesting in growing its business, while the conservative payout ratio also implies a reduced risk of the dividend being cut in the future. It's a promising combination that should mark this company worthy of closer attention.

Wondering what the future holds for FLIR Systems? See what the eight 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.