Foley Wines Limited (NZSE:FWL) is about to trade ex-dividend in the next 4 days. Ex-dividend means that investors that purchase the stock on or after the 8th of October will not receive this dividend, which will be paid on the 23rd of October.
The upcoming dividend for Foley Wines will put a total of NZ$0.035 per share in shareholders' pockets, up from last year's total dividends of NZ$0.03. Dividends are a major contributor to investment returns for long term holders, but only if the dividend continues to be paid. So we need to check whether the dividend payments are covered, and if earnings are growing.
Dividends are typically paid out of company income, so if a company pays out more than it earned, its dividend is usually at a higher risk of being cut. Fortunately Foley Wines's payout ratio is modest, at just 28% of profit. Yet cash flow is typically more important than profit for assessing dividend sustainability, so we should always check if the company generated enough cash to afford its dividend. Fortunately, it paid out only 31% 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.
Have Earnings And Dividends Been Growing?
Companies with consistently growing earnings per share generally make the best dividend stocks, as they usually find it easier to grow dividends per share. If earnings fall far enough, the company could be forced to cut its dividend. That's why it's comforting to see Foley Wines's earnings have been skyrocketing, up 35% per annum for the past five years. Earnings per share have been growing very quickly, and the company is paying out a relatively low percentage of its profit and cash flow. Companies with growing earnings and low payout ratios are often the best long-term dividend stocks, as the company can both grow its earnings and increase the percentage of earnings that it pays out, essentially multiplying the dividend.
Many investors will assess a company's dividend performance by evaluating how much the dividend payments have changed over time. In the past five years, Foley Wines has increased its dividend at approximately 8.4% a year on average. It's encouraging to see the company lifting dividends while earnings are growing, suggesting at least some corporate interest in rewarding shareholders.
From a dividend perspective, should investors buy or avoid Foley Wines? Foley Wines has been growing earnings at a rapid rate, and has a conservatively low payout ratio, implying that it is reinvesting heavily in its business; a sterling combination. Overall we think this is an attractive combination and worthy of further research.
In light of that, while Foley Wines has an appealing dividend, it's worth knowing the risks involved with this stock. In terms of investment risks, we've identified 1 warning sign with Foley Wines and understanding them should be part of your investment process.
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.
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