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It looks like Agnico Eagle Mines Limited (NYSE:AEM) is about to go ex-dividend in the next 3 days. The ex-dividend date is one business day before the record date, which is the cut-off date for shareholders to be present on the company's books to be eligible for a dividend payment. The ex-dividend date is of consequence because whenever a stock is bought or sold, the trade takes at least two business day to settle. Thus, you can purchase Agnico Eagle Mines' shares before the 28th of May in order to receive the dividend, which the company will pay on the 15th of June.
The company's next dividend payment will be US$0.35 per share. Last year, in total, the company distributed US$1.40 to shareholders. Based on the last year's worth of payments, Agnico Eagle Mines has a trailing yield of 1.9% on the current stock price of $72.08. If you buy this business for its dividend, you should have an idea of whether Agnico Eagle Mines's dividend is reliable and sustainable. We need to see whether the dividend is covered by earnings and if it's growing.
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. Fortunately Agnico Eagle Mines's payout ratio is modest, at just 40% of profit. 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 37% of the free cash flow it generated, which is a comfortable payout ratio.
It's positive to see that Agnico Eagle Mines'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. It's encouraging to see Agnico Eagle Mines has grown its earnings rapidly, up 89% a year for the past five years. Agnico Eagle Mines is paying out less than half its earnings and cash flow, while simultaneously growing earnings per share at a rapid clip. 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.
The main way most investors will assess a company's dividend prospects is by checking the historical rate of dividend growth. In the past 10 years, Agnico Eagle Mines has increased its dividend at approximately 8.1% a year on average. We're glad to see dividends rising alongside earnings over a number of years, which may be a sign the company intends to share the growth with shareholders.
From a dividend perspective, should investors buy or avoid Agnico Eagle Mines? It's great that Agnico Eagle Mines is growing earnings per share while simultaneously paying out a low percentage of both its earnings and cash flow. It's disappointing to see the dividend has been cut at least once in the past, but as things stand now, the low payout ratio suggests a conservative approach to dividends, which we like. There's a lot to like about Agnico Eagle Mines, and we would prioritise taking a closer look at it.
While it's tempting to invest in Agnico Eagle Mines for the dividends alone, you should always be mindful of the risks involved. Our analysis shows 2 warning signs for Agnico Eagle Mines that we strongly recommend you have a look at before investing in the company.
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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