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Here's What We Like About Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C)'s Upcoming Dividend

Simply Wall St

Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C) stock is about to trade ex-dividend in 4 days time. Ex-dividend means that investors that purchase the stock on or after the 31st of January will not receive this dividend, which will be paid on the 28th of February.

Citigroup's upcoming dividend is US$0.51 a share, following on from the last 12 months, when the company distributed a total of US$2.04 per share to shareholders. Based on the last year's worth of payments, Citigroup has a trailing yield of 2.6% on the current stock price of $78.42. 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! As a result, readers should always check whether Citigroup has been able to grow its dividends, or if the dividend might be cut.

See our latest analysis for Citigroup

If a company pays out more in dividends than it earned, then the dividend might become unsustainable - hardly an ideal situation. Citigroup has a low and conservative payout ratio of just 24% of its income after tax.

Companies that pay out less in dividends than they earn in profits generally have more sustainable dividends. The lower the payout ratio, the more wiggle room the business has before it could be forced to cut the dividend.

Click here to see the company's payout ratio, plus analyst estimates of its future dividends.

NYSE:C Historical Dividend Yield, January 26th 2020

Have Earnings And Dividends Been Growing?

Businesses with strong growth prospects usually make the best dividend payers, because it's easier to grow dividends when earnings per share are improving. If earnings decline and the company is forced to cut its dividend, investors could watch the value of their investment go up in smoke. That's why it's comforting to see Citigroup's earnings have been skyrocketing, up 30% per annum for the past five years.

Another key way to measure a company's dividend prospects is by measuring its historical rate of dividend growth. Citigroup has delivered an average of 55% per year annual increase in its dividend, based on the past nine years of dividend payments. Both per-share earnings and dividends have both been growing rapidly in recent times, which is great to see.

To Sum It Up

From a dividend perspective, should investors buy or avoid Citigroup? Companies like Citigroup that are growing rapidly and paying out a low fraction of earnings, are usually reinvesting heavily in their business. This is one of the most attractive investment combinations under this analysis, as it can create substantial value for investors over the long run. Citigroup ticks a lot of boxes for us from a dividend perspective, and we think these characteristics should mark the company as deserving of further attention.

Ever wonder what the future holds for Citigroup? See what the 22 analysts we track are forecasting, with this visualisation of its historical and future estimated earnings and cash flow

A common investment mistake is buying the first interesting stock you see. Here you can find a list of promising dividend stocks with a greater than 2% yield and an upcoming dividend.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.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.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Thank you for reading.