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Regular readers will know that we love our dividends at Simply Wall St, which is why it's exciting to see Lovisa Holdings Limited (ASX:LOV) 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 of consequence because whenever a stock is bought or sold, the trade takes at least two business day to settle. Meaning, you will need to purchase Lovisa Holdings' shares before the 15th of September to receive the dividend, which will be paid on the 21st of October.
The company's next dividend payment will be AU$0.18 per share, on the back of last year when the company paid a total of AU$0.36 to shareholders. Last year's total dividend payments show that Lovisa Holdings has a trailing yield of 1.9% on the current share price of A$19.24. 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! That's why we should always check whether the dividend payments appear sustainable, and if the company is growing.
If a company pays out more in dividends than it earned, then the dividend might become unsustainable - hardly an ideal situation. Lovisa Holdings distributed an unsustainably high 164% of its profit as dividends to shareholders last year. Without extenuating circumstances, we'd consider the dividend at risk of a cut. 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. It paid out more than half (54%) of its free cash flow in the past year, which is within an average range for most companies.
It's good to see that while Lovisa Holdings's dividends were not covered by profits, at least they are affordable from a cash perspective. Still, if the company repeatedly paid a dividend greater than its profits, we'd be concerned. Extraordinarily few companies are capable of persistently paying a dividend that is greater than their profits.
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. This is why it's a relief to see Lovisa Holdings earnings per share are up 7.9% per annum over the last five years.
Another key way to measure a company's dividend prospects is by measuring its historical rate of dividend growth. Lovisa Holdings has delivered an average of 15% per year annual increase in its dividend, based on the past seven years of dividend payments. It's encouraging to see the company lifting dividends while earnings are growing, suggesting at least some corporate interest in rewarding shareholders.
The Bottom Line
Should investors buy Lovisa Holdings for the upcoming dividend? Earnings per share have not grown all that much, and the company is paying out an uncomfortably high percentage of its income. Fortunately it paid out a lower percentage of its cash flow. Overall it doesn't look like the most suitable dividend stock for a long-term buy and hold investor.
With that being said, if you're still considering Lovisa Holdings as an investment, you'll find it beneficial to know what risks this stock is facing. For example, we've found 2 warning signs for Lovisa Holdings that we recommend you consider before investing in the business.
We wouldn't recommend just buying the first dividend stock you see, though. Here's a list of interesting dividend stocks with a greater than 2% yield and an upcoming dividend.
This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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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