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Interested In Excelsior Capital's (ASX:ECL) Upcoming AU$0.02 Dividend? You Have Two Days Left

Simply Wall St

Excelsior Capital Limited (ASX:ECL) stock is about to trade ex-dividend in two days. You can purchase shares before the 2nd of September in order to receive the dividend, which the company will pay on the 23rd of September.

Excelsior Capital's next dividend payment will be AU$0.02 per share. Last year, in total, the company distributed AU$0.04 to shareholders. Based on the last year's worth of payments, Excelsior Capital stock has a trailing yield of around 2.6% on the current share price of A$1.53. 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! We need to see whether the dividend is covered by earnings and if it's growing.

See our latest analysis for Excelsior Capital

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. Fortunately Excelsior Capital's payout ratio is modest, at just 27% of profit. Yet cash flows are even more important than profits for assessing a dividend, so we need to see if the company generated enough cash to pay its distribution. It paid out 19% of its free cash flow as dividends last year, which is conservatively low.

It's positive to see that Excelsior Capital'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 how much of its profit Excelsior Capital paid out over the last 12 months.

historic-dividend
historic-dividend

Have Earnings And Dividends Been Growing?

Businesses with shrinking earnings are tricky from a dividend perspective. If earnings decline and the company is forced to cut its dividend, investors could watch the value of their investment go up in smoke. That's why it's not ideal to see Excelsior Capital's earnings per share have been shrinking at 2.7% a year over the previous five years.

Another key way to measure a company's dividend prospects is by measuring its historical rate of dividend growth. Excelsior Capital has seen its dividend decline 5.6% per annum on average over the past seven years, which is not great to see. While it's not great that earnings and dividends per share have fallen in recent years, we're encouraged by the fact that management has trimmed the dividend rather than risk over-committing the company in a risky attempt to maintain yields to shareholders.

The Bottom Line

From a dividend perspective, should investors buy or avoid Excelsior Capital? Earnings per share are down meaningfully, although at least the company is paying out a low and conservative percentage of both its earnings and cash flow. It's definitely not great to see earnings falling, but at least there may be some buffer before the dividend needs to be cut. Overall, it's hard to get excited about Excelsior Capital from a dividend perspective.

So while Excelsior Capital looks good from a dividend perspective, it's always worthwhile being up to date with the risks involved in this stock. Be aware that Excelsior Capital is showing 4 warning signs in our investment analysis, and 1 of those is concerning...

If you're in the market for dividend stocks, we recommend checking our list of top dividend stocks with a greater than 2% yield and an upcoming dividend.

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.

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