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The Hackett Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:HCKT) stock is about to trade ex-dividend in 4 days. The ex-dividend date occurs one day before the record date which is the day on which shareholders need to be on the company's books in order to receive a dividend. It is important to be aware of the ex-dividend date because any trade on the stock needs to have been settled on or before the record date. Therefore, if you purchase Hackett Group's shares on or after the 16th of December, you won't be eligible to receive the dividend, when it is paid on the 30th of December.
The company's next dividend payment will be US$0.10 per share, and in the last 12 months, the company paid a total of US$0.40 per share. Looking at the last 12 months of distributions, Hackett Group has a trailing yield of approximately 1.9% on its current stock price of $20.67. 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 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. Hackett Group paid out a comfortable 46% of its profit last year. Yet cash flows are even more important than profits for assessing a dividend, so we need to see if the company generated enough cash to pay its distribution. Fortunately, it paid out only 34% of its free cash flow in the past year.
It's positive to see that Hackett Group'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 business enters a downturn and the dividend is cut, the company could see its value fall precipitously. For this reason, we're glad to see Hackett Group's earnings per share have risen 13% 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.
The main way most investors will assess a company's dividend prospects is by checking the historical rate of dividend growth. Since the start of our data, nine years ago, Hackett Group has lifted its dividend by approximately 17% a year on average. It's exciting to see that both earnings and dividends per share have grown rapidly over the past few years.
Is Hackett Group worth buying for its dividend? We love that Hackett Group 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. Hackett Group looks solid on this analysis overall, and we'd definitely consider investigating it more closely.
On that note, you'll want to research what risks Hackett Group is facing. Our analysis shows 1 warning sign for Hackett Group and you should be aware of this before buying any shares.
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.
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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.