It looks like Brady Corporation (NYSE:BRC) is about to go ex-dividend in the next 3 days. Investors can purchase shares before the 9th of October in order to be eligible for this dividend, which will be paid on the 31st of October.
Brady's next dividend payment will be US$0.2 per share, and in the last 12 months, the company paid a total of US$0.9 per share. Based on the last year's worth of payments, Brady stock has a trailing yield of around 1.7% on the current share price of $51.69. Dividends are a major contributor to investment returns for long term holders, but only if the dividend continues to be paid. As a result, readers should always check whether Brady has been able to grow its dividends, or if the dividend might be cut.
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. Brady paid out a comfortable 34% of its profit last year. 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 35% 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 business enters a downturn and the dividend is cut, the company could see its value fall precipitously. That's why it's comforting to see Brady's earnings have been skyrocketing, up 52% 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.
Another key way to measure a company's dividend prospects is by measuring its historical rate of dividend growth. In the last ten years, Brady has lifted its dividend by approximately 2.5% a year on average. It's good to see both earnings and the dividend have improved - although the former has been rising much quicker than the latter, possibly due to the company reinvesting more of its profits in growth.
The Bottom Line
Should investors buy Brady for the upcoming dividend? Brady 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.
Wondering what the future holds for Brady? See what the four analysts we track are forecasting, with this visualisation of its historical and future estimated earnings and cash flow
If you're in the market for dividend stocks, we recommend checking our list of top dividend stocks with a greater than 2% yield and an upcoming dividend.
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If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.com. 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. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.