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Income Investors Should Know The American Financial Group Inc (NYSE:AFG) Ex-Dividend Date

Have you been keeping an eye on American Financial Group Inc’s (NYSE:AFG) upcoming dividend of US$0.40 per share payable on the 25 October 2018? Then you only have 4 days left before the stock starts trading ex-dividend on the 12 October 2018. Is this future income stream a compelling catalyst for dividend investors to think about the stock as an investment today? Let’s take a look at American Financial Group’s most recent financial data to examine its dividend characteristics in more detail.

See our latest analysis for American Financial Group

Here’s how I find good dividend stocks

When assessing a stock as a potential addition to my dividend Portfolio, I look at these five areas:

  • Is its annual yield among the top 25% of dividend-paying companies?
  • Has it paid dividend every year without dramatically reducing payout in the past?
  • Has dividend per share amount increased over the past?
  • Can it afford to pay the current rate of dividends from its earnings?
  • Will the company be able to keep paying dividend based on the future earnings growth?
NYSE:AFG Historical Dividend Yield October 7th 18

How well does American Financial Group fit our criteria?

The company currently pays out 23% of its earnings as a dividend, according to its trailing twelve-month data, meaning the dividend is sufficiently covered by earnings. In the near future, analysts are predicting a higher payout ratio of 69%, leading to a dividend yield of around 5.0%. In addition to this, EPS should increase to $8.3. The higher payout forecasted, along with higher earnings, should lead to greater dividend income for investors moving forward.

If you want to dive deeper into the sustainability of a certain payout ratio, you may wish to consider 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. In the case of AFG it has increased its DPS from $0.50 to $3.1 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. These are all positive signs of a great, reliable dividend stock.

Relative to peers, American Financial Group has a yield of 2.8%, which is high for Insurance stocks but still below the market’s top dividend payers.

Next Steps:

With these dividend metrics in mind, I definitely rank American Financial Group as a strong income stock, and is worth further research for anyone who considers dividends an important part of their portfolio strategy. Given that this is purely a dividend analysis, you should always research extensively before deciding whether or not a stock is an appropriate investment for you. I always recommend analysing the company’s fundamentals and underlying business before making an investment decision. I’ve put together three fundamental factors you should further research:

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for AFG’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for AFG’s outlook.
  2. Valuation: What is AFG 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 AFG 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.