The board of Gentex Corporation (NASDAQ:GNTX) has announced that it will pay a dividend of $0.12 per share on the 18th of October. Including this payment, the dividend yield on the stock will be 1.5%, which is a modest boost for shareholders' returns.
Gentex's Earnings Easily Cover The Distributions
It would be nice for the yield to be higher, but we should also check if higher levels of dividend payment would be sustainable. However, prior to this announcement, Gentex's dividend was comfortably covered by both cash flow and earnings. This means that most of its earnings are being retained to grow the business.
Looking forward, earnings per share is forecast to rise by 75.3% over the next year. Assuming the dividend continues along recent trends, we think the payout ratio could be 19% by next year, which is in a pretty sustainable range.
Gentex Has A Solid Track Record
The company has a sustained record of paying dividends with very little fluctuation. Since 2013, the annual payment back then was $0.26, compared to the most recent full-year payment of $0.48. This means that it has been growing its distributions at 6.3% per annum over that time. Dividends have grown at a reasonable rate over this period, and without any major cuts in the payment over time, we think this is an attractive combination as it provides a nice boost to shareholder returns.
Dividend Growth May Be Hard To Achieve
Investors could be attracted to the stock based on the quality of its payment history. However, initial appearances might be deceiving. Gentex hasn't seen much change in its earnings per share over the last five years.
In summary, we are pleased with the dividend remaining consistent, and we think there is a good chance of this continuing in the future. The earnings coverage is acceptable for now, but with earnings on the decline we would definitely keep an eye on the payout ratio. The dividend looks okay, but there have been some issues in the past, so we would be a little bit cautious.
Investors generally tend to favour companies with a consistent, stable dividend policy as opposed to those operating an irregular one. However, there are other things to consider for investors when analysing stock performance. Given that earnings are not growing, the dividend does not look nearly so attractive. Businesses can change though, and we think it would make sense to see what analysts are forecasting for the company. Is Gentex not quite the opportunity you were looking for? Why not check out our selection of top dividend stocks.
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