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Columbia Sportswear Company (NASDAQ:COLM) is about to trade ex-dividend in the next 3 days. The ex-dividend date is usually set to be one business day before the record date which is the cut-off date on which you must be present on the company's books as a shareholder in order to receive the dividend. The ex-dividend date is important because any transaction on a stock needs to have been settled before the record date in order to be eligible for a dividend. Accordingly, Columbia Sportswear investors that purchase the stock on or after the 11th of August will not receive the dividend, which will be paid on the 26th of August.
The company's next dividend payment will be US$0.26 per share. Last year, in total, the company distributed US$1.04 to shareholders. Last year's total dividend payments show that Columbia Sportswear has a trailing yield of 1.0% on the current share price of $103.09. If you buy this business for its dividend, you should have an idea of whether Columbia Sportswear's dividend is reliable and sustainable. We need to see whether the dividend is covered by earnings and if it's growing.
If a company pays out more in dividends than it earned, then the dividend might become unsustainable - hardly an ideal situation. Columbia Sportswear paid out just 6.8% of its profit last year, which we think is conservatively low and leaves plenty of margin for unexpected circumstances. 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. What's good is that dividends were well covered by free cash flow, with the company paying out 4.2% of its cash flow last year.
It's positive to see that Columbia Sportswear'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?
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 business enters a downturn and the dividend is cut, the company could see its value fall precipitously. With that in mind, we're encouraged by the steady growth at Columbia Sportswear, with earnings per share up 9.1% on average over the last five years. Earnings per share have been increasing steadily and management is reinvesting almost all of the profits back into the business. If profits are reinvested effectively, this could be a bullish combination for future earnings and dividends.
The main way most investors will assess a company's dividend prospects is by checking the historical rate of dividend growth. Columbia Sportswear has delivered 10% dividend growth per year on average over the past 10 years. 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.
Is Columbia Sportswear worth buying for its dividend? Earnings per share growth has been growing somewhat, and Columbia Sportswear is paying out less than half its earnings and cash flow as dividends. This is interesting for a few reasons, as it suggests management may be reinvesting heavily in the business, but it also provides room to increase the dividend in time. It might be nice to see earnings growing faster, but Columbia Sportswear is being conservative with its dividend payouts and could still perform reasonably over the long run. There's a lot to like about Columbia Sportswear, and we would prioritise taking a closer look at it.
Ever wonder what the future holds for Columbia Sportswear? See what the 12 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.
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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