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Fortune Brands Home & Security, Inc. (NYSE:FBHS) stock is about to trade ex-dividend in four days. The ex-dividend date is one business day before a company's record date, which is the date on which the company determines which shareholders are entitled to receive a dividend. The ex-dividend date is an important date to be aware of as any purchase of the stock made on or after this date might mean a late settlement that doesn't show on the record date. Therefore, if you purchase Fortune Brands Home & Security's shares on or after the 24th of February, you won't be eligible to receive the dividend, when it is paid on the 16th of March.
The company'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, Fortune Brands Home & Security has a trailing yield of 1.3% on the current stock price of $88.79. 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! We need to see whether the dividend is covered by earnings and if it's growing.
Dividends are usually paid out of company profits, so if a company pays out more than it earned then its dividend is usually at greater risk of being cut. Fortune Brands Home & Security is paying out just 19% of its profit after tax, which is comfortably low and leaves plenty of breathing room in the case of adverse events. 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. Thankfully its dividend payments took up just 30% of the free cash flow it generated, which is a comfortable payout ratio.
It's positive to see that Fortune Brands Home & Security'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.
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. For this reason, we're glad to see Fortune Brands Home & Security's earnings per share have risen 16% per annum over the last 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. Fortune Brands Home & Security has delivered an average of 12% per year annual increase in its dividend, based on the past nine years of dividend payments. It's exciting to see that both earnings and dividends per share have grown rapidly over the past few years.
To Sum It Up
From a dividend perspective, should investors buy or avoid Fortune Brands Home & Security? We love that Fortune Brands Home & Security 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. Fortune Brands Home & Security looks solid on this analysis overall, and we'd definitely consider investigating it more closely.
In light of that, while Fortune Brands Home & Security has an appealing dividend, it's worth knowing the risks involved with this stock. Our analysis shows 2 warning signs for Fortune Brands Home & Security and you should be aware of these before buying any shares.
Generally, we wouldn't recommend just buying the first dividend stock you see. Here's a curated list of interesting stocks that are strong dividend payers.
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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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.