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Johnson Controls International plc (NYSE:JCI)'s Could Be A Buy For Its Upcoming Dividend

Simply Wall St

Johnson Controls International plc (NYSE:JCI) is about to trade ex-dividend in the next 3 days. You will need to purchase shares before the 13th of September to receive the dividend, which will be paid on the 4th of October.

Johnson Controls International's next dividend payment will be US$0.26 per share, on the back of last year when the company paid a total of US$1.04 to shareholders. Calculating the last year's worth of payments shows that Johnson Controls International has a trailing yield of 2.4% on the current share price of $42.82. 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 check whether the dividend payments are covered, and if earnings are growing.

See our latest analysis for Johnson Controls International

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 Johnson Controls International paying out a modest 46% 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 more than three-quarters (84%) of its free cash flow generated, which is fairly high and may be starting to limit reinvestment in the business.

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.

NYSE:JCI Historical Dividend Yield, September 9th 2019

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. If earnings decline and the company is forced to cut its dividend, investors could watch the value of their investment go up in smoke. This is why it's a relief to see Johnson Controls International earnings per share are up 9.5% per annum over the last five years. Decent historical earnings per share growth suggests Johnson Controls International has been effectively growing value for shareholders. However, it's now paying out more than half its earnings as dividends. Therefore it's unlikely that the company will be able to reinvest heavily in its business, which could presage slower growth in the future.

Many investors will assess a company's dividend performance by evaluating how much the dividend payments have changed over time. Since the start of our data, 10 years ago, Johnson Controls International has lifted its dividend by approximately 7.2% 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

From a dividend perspective, should investors buy or avoid Johnson Controls International? Earnings per share have been growing at a steady rate, and Johnson Controls International paid out less than half its profits and more than half its free cash flow as dividends over the last year. Overall, it's not a bad combination, but we feel that there are likely more attractive dividend prospects out there.

Curious what other investors think of Johnson Controls International? See what analysts are forecasting, with this visualisation of its historical and future estimated earnings and cash flow .

A common investment mistake is buying the first interesting stock you see. Here you can find a list of promising dividend stocks with a greater than 2% yield and an upcoming dividend.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.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.