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Here's What We Like About Hooker Furniture's (NASDAQ:HOFT) Upcoming Dividend

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Hooker Furniture Corporation (NASDAQ:HOFT) is about to trade ex-dividend in the next four days. Typically, the ex-dividend date is one business day before the record date which is the date on which a company determines the shareholders eligible to receive a 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. This means that investors who purchase Hooker Furniture's shares on or after the 15th of June will not receive the dividend, which will be paid on the 30th of June.

The company's next dividend payment will be US$0.18 per share, and in the last 12 months, the company paid a total of US$0.72 per share. Based on the last year's worth of payments, Hooker Furniture has a trailing yield of 1.8% on the current stock price of $40.03. 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.

View our latest analysis for Hooker Furniture

If a company pays out more in dividends than it earned, then the dividend might become unsustainable - hardly an ideal situation. Hooker Furniture is paying out just 24% of its profit after tax, which is comfortably low and leaves plenty of breathing room in the case of adverse events. 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. What's good is that dividends were well covered by free cash flow, with the company paying out 17% of its cash flow last year.

It's positive to see that Hooker Furniture'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.

Click here to see how much of its profit Hooker Furniture paid out over the last 12 months.

historic-dividend
historic-dividend

Have Earnings And Dividends Been Growing?

Stocks in companies that generate sustainable earnings growth often make the best dividend prospects, as it is easier to lift the dividend when earnings are rising. If earnings decline and the company is forced to cut its dividend, investors could watch the value of their investment go up in smoke. Fortunately for readers, Hooker Furniture's earnings per share have been growing at 14% a year for the past five years. Earnings per share are growing rapidly and the company is keeping more than half of its earnings within the business; an attractive combination which could suggest the company is focused on reinvesting to grow earnings further. This will make it easier to fund future growth efforts and we think this is an attractive combination - plus the dividend can always be increased later.

Many investors will assess a company's dividend performance by evaluating how much the dividend payments have changed over time. Hooker Furniture has delivered an average of 6.1% per year annual increase in its dividend, based on the past 10 years of dividend payments. 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.

The Bottom Line

From a dividend perspective, should investors buy or avoid Hooker Furniture? Hooker Furniture 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. Hooker Furniture looks solid on this analysis overall, and we'd definitely consider investigating it more closely.

Curious about whether Hooker Furniture has been able to consistently generate growth? Here's a chart of its historical revenue and earnings growth.

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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.