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Is The Home Depot, Inc. (NYSE:HD) A Smart Pick For Income Investors?

Amar Chadha

The Home Depot, Inc. (NYSE:HD) has pleased shareholders over the past 10 years, by paying out dividends. The stock currently pays out a dividend yield of 2.5%, and has a market cap of US$189b. Does Home Depot tick all the boxes of a great dividend stock? Below, I’ll take you through my analysis.

Check out our latest analysis for Home Depot

5 questions to ask before buying a dividend stock

Whenever I am looking at a potential dividend stock investment, I always check these five metrics:

  • Is its annual yield among the top 25% of dividend-paying companies?
  • Has its dividend been stable over the past (i.e. no missed payments or significant payout cuts)?
  • Has dividend per share risen in the past couple of years?
  • Can it afford to pay the current rate of dividends from its earnings?
  • Based on future earnings growth, will it be able to continue to payout dividend at the current rate?
NYSE:HD Historical Dividend Yield December 21st 18

How well does Home Depot fit our criteria?

The company currently pays out 45% of its earnings as a dividend, according to its trailing twelve-month data, which means that the dividend is covered by earnings. In the near future, analysts are predicting a payout ratio of 47% which, assuming the share price stays the same, leads to a dividend yield of around 2.9%. In addition to this, EPS should increase to $10.18.

When assessing the forecast sustainability of a dividend it is also worth considering the cash flow of the business. Companies with strong cash flow can sustain a higher payout ratio, while companies with weaker cash flow generally cannot.

If there’s one type of stock you want to be reliable, it’s dividend stocks and their stable income-generating ability. HD has increased its DPS from $0.90 to $4.12 in the past 10 years. It has also been paying out dividend consistently during this time, as you’d expect for a company increasing its dividend levels. This is an impressive feat, which makes HD a true dividend rockstar.

Relative to peers, Home Depot has a yield of 2.5%, which is high for Specialty Retail stocks but still below the market’s top dividend payers.

Next Steps:

With this in mind, I definitely rank Home Depot as a strong dividend stock, and makes it worth further research for anyone who likes steady income generation from their portfolio. Given that this is purely a dividend analysis, I urge potential investors to try and get a good understanding of the underlying business and its fundamentals before deciding on an investment. There are three essential aspects you should look at:

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for HD’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for HD’s outlook.
  2. Valuation: What is HD worth today? Even if the stock is a cash cow, it’s not worth an infinite price. The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether HD is currently mispriced by the market.
  3. Other Dividend Rockstars: Are there better dividend payers with stronger fundamentals out there? Check out our free list of these great stocks here.

To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.

The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com.