Regular readers will know that we love our dividends at Simply Wall St, which is why it's exciting to see Apogee Enterprises, Inc. (NASDAQ:APOG) is about to trade ex-dividend in the next 4 days. You will need to purchase shares before the 18th of October to receive the dividend, which will be paid on the 5th of November.
Apogee Enterprises's next dividend payment will be US$0.2 per share, and in the last 12 months, the company paid a total of US$0.7 per share. Calculating the last year's worth of payments shows that Apogee Enterprises has a trailing yield of 1.9% on the current share price of $36.68. 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! So we need to check whether the dividend payments are covered, and if earnings are growing.
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. That's why it's good to see Apogee Enterprises paying out a modest 41% of its earnings. Yet cash flow is typically more important than profit for assessing dividend sustainability, so we should always check if the company generated enough cash to afford its dividend. Over the last year, it paid out dividends equivalent to 251% of what it generated in free cash flow, a disturbingly high percentage. Unless there were something in the business we're not grasping, this could signal a risk that the dividend may have to be cut in the future.
While Apogee Enterprises's dividends were covered by the company's reported profits, cash is somewhat more important, so it's not great to see that the company didn't generate enough cash to pay its dividend. Were this to happen repeatedly, this would be a risk to Apogee Enterprises's ability to maintain its dividend.
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. Fortunately for readers, Apogee Enterprises's earnings per share have been growing at 11% a year for the past five years. Earnings have been growing at a decent rate, but we're concerned dividend payments consumed most of the company's cash flow over the past year.
Another key way to measure a company's dividend prospects is by measuring its historical rate of dividend growth. Apogee Enterprises has delivered 7.9% dividend growth per year on average over the past ten years. We're glad to see dividends rising alongside earnings over a number of years, which may be a sign the company intends to share the growth with shareholders.
The Bottom Line
Is Apogee Enterprises worth buying for its dividend? We like that Apogee Enterprises has been successfully growing its earnings per share at a nice rate and reinvesting most of its profits in the business. However, we note the high cashflow payout ratio with some concern. Overall we're not hugely bearish on the stock, but there are likely better dividend investments out there.
Curious what other investors think of Apogee Enterprises? See what analysts are forecasting, with this visualisation of its historical and future estimated earnings and cash flow.
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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If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.com. 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. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.