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Should Income Investors Look At Lerøy Seafood Group ASA (OB:LSG) Before Its Ex-Dividend?

Simply Wall St

Some investors rely on dividends for growing their wealth, and if you're one of those dividend sleuths, you might be intrigued to know that Lerøy Seafood Group ASA (OB:LSG) is about to go ex-dividend in just 2 days. You can purchase shares before the 28th of May in order to receive the dividend, which the company will pay on the 8th of June.

Lerøy Seafood Group's upcoming dividend is kr1.50 a share, following on from the last 12 months, when the company distributed a total of kr1.50 per share to shareholders. Based on the last year's worth of payments, Lerøy Seafood Group has a trailing yield of 2.7% on the current stock price of NOK56.16. Dividends are a major contributor to investment returns for long term holders, but only if the dividend continues to be paid. So we need to investigate whether Lerøy Seafood Group can afford its dividend, and if the dividend could grow.

View our latest analysis for Lerøy Seafood Group

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. Lerøy Seafood Group is paying out an acceptable 59% of its profit, a common payout level among most companies. That said, even highly profitable companies sometimes might not generate enough cash to pay the dividend, which is why we should always check if the dividend is covered by cash flow. It paid out 82% of its free cash flow as dividends, which is within usual limits but will limit the company's ability to lift the dividend if there's no growth.

It's positive to see that Lerøy Seafood Group's dividend is covered by both profits and cash flow, since this is generally a sign that the dividend is sustainable, and a lower payout ratio usually suggests a greater margin of safety before the dividend gets cut.

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

OB:LSG Historical Dividend Yield May 25th 2020

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. Investors love dividends, so if earnings fall and the dividend is reduced, expect a stock to be sold off heavily at the same time. This is why it's a relief to see Lerøy Seafood Group earnings per share are up 5.7% per annum over the last five years. While earnings have been growing at a credible rate, the company is paying out a majority of its earnings to shareholders. If management lifts the payout ratio further, we'd take this as a tacit signal that the company's growth prospects are slowing.

The main way most investors will assess a company's dividend prospects is by checking the historical rate of dividend growth. In the past ten years, Lerøy Seafood Group has increased its dividend at approximately 7.9% 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.

Final Takeaway

Should investors buy Lerøy Seafood Group for the upcoming dividend? Earnings per share growth has been unremarkable, and while the company is paying out a majority of its earnings and cash flow in the form of dividends, the dividend payments don't appear excessive. Overall we're not hugely bearish on the stock, but there are likely better dividend investments out there.

If you want to look further into Lerøy Seafood Group, it's worth knowing the risks this business faces. Case in point: We've spotted 1 warning sign for Lerøy Seafood Group you should be aware of.

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.

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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. 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. Thank you for reading.