Unum Group (NYSE:UNM) is about to trade ex-dividend in the next 4 days. You will need to purchase shares before the 30th of January to receive the dividend, which will be paid on the 21st of February.
Unum Group's next dividend payment will be US$0.28 per share. Last year, in total, the company distributed US$1.14 to shareholders. Looking at the last 12 months of distributions, Unum Group has a trailing yield of approximately 4.1% on its current stock price of $28.1. Dividends are an important source of income to many shareholders, but the health of the business is crucial to maintaining those dividends. So we need to check whether the dividend payments are covered, and if earnings are growing.
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. Unum Group is paying out just 22% of its profit after tax, which is comfortably low and leaves plenty of breathing room in the case of adverse events.
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.
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. With that in mind, we're encouraged by the steady growth at Unum Group, with earnings per share up 9.1% on average over the last five years.
Another key way to measure a company's dividend prospects is by measuring its historical rate of dividend growth. In the last ten years, Unum Group has lifted its dividend by approximately 14% a year on average. It's encouraging to see the company lifting dividends while earnings are growing, suggesting at least some corporate interest in rewarding shareholders.
To Sum It Up
Has Unum Group got what it takes to maintain its dividend payments? Unum Group has seen its earnings per share grow slowly in recent years, and the company reinvests more than half of its profits in the business, which generally bodes well for its future prospects. We think this is a pretty attractive combination, and would be interested in investigating Unum Group more closely.
Curious what other investors think of Unum Group? See what analysts 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.
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.
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