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Hubbell Incorporated (NYSE:HUBB) Goes Ex-Dividend Soon

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Hubbell Incorporated (NYSE:HUBB) stock is about to trade ex-dividend in four days. The ex-dividend date occurs one day before the record date which is the day on which shareholders need to be on the company's books in order 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. In other words, investors can purchase Hubbell's shares before the 25th of February in order to be eligible for the dividend, which will be paid on the 15th of March.

The company's next dividend payment will be US$1.05 per share, and in the last 12 months, the company paid a total of US$4.20 per share. Calculating the last year's worth of payments shows that Hubbell has a trailing yield of 2.3% on the current share price of $179.35. If you buy this business for its dividend, you should have an idea of whether Hubbell's dividend is reliable and sustainable. That's why we should always check whether the dividend payments appear sustainable, and if the company is growing.

View our latest analysis for Hubbell

Dividends are typically paid out of company income, so if a company pays out more than it earned, its dividend is usually at a higher risk of being cut. Hubbell is paying out an acceptable 60% of its profit, a common payout level among most companies. A useful secondary check can be to evaluate whether Hubbell generated enough free cash flow to afford its dividend. Thankfully its dividend payments took up just 48% of the free cash flow it generated, which is a comfortable payout ratio.

It's encouraging to see that the dividend is covered by both profit and cash flow. This generally suggests the dividend is sustainable, as long as earnings don't drop precipitously.

Click here to see the company's payout ratio, plus analyst estimates of its future dividends.

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 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 Hubbell earnings per share are up 4.9% per annum over the last five years. Earnings per share growth has been slim, and the company is already paying out a majority of its earnings. While there is some room to both increase the payout ratio and reinvest in the business, generally the higher a payout ratio goes, the lower a company's prospects for future growth.

Another key way to measure a company's dividend prospects is by measuring its historical rate of dividend growth. Hubbell has delivered an average of 11% per year annual increase in its dividend, based on the past 10 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.

Final Takeaway

Is Hubbell an attractive dividend stock, or better left on the shelf? Earnings per share growth has been modest and Hubbell paid out over half of its profits and less than half of its free cash flow, although both payout ratios are within normal limits. All things considered, we are not particularly enthused about Hubbell from a dividend perspective.

With that in mind, a critical part of thorough stock research is being aware of any risks that stock currently faces. In terms of investment risks, we've identified 2 warning signs with Hubbell and understanding them should be part of your investment process.

If you're in the market for strong dividend payers, we recommend checking our selection of top dividend stocks.

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

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.