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Juniper Networks (NYSE:JNPR) Is Due To Pay A Dividend Of $0.21

Juniper Networks, Inc. (NYSE:JNPR) will pay a dividend of $0.21 on the 22nd of December. This means that the annual payment will be 2.8% of the current stock price, which is in line with the average for the industry.

Check out our latest analysis for Juniper Networks

Juniper Networks' Earnings Easily Cover The Distributions

We like to see a healthy dividend yield, but that is only helpful to us if the payment can continue. Before making this announcement, Juniper Networks was earning enough to cover the dividend, but it wasn't generating any free cash flows. In general, we consider cash flow to be more important than earnings, so we would be cautious about relying on the sustainability of this dividend.

The next year is set to see EPS grow by 61.8%. If the dividend continues on this path, the payout ratio could be 45% by next year, which we think can be pretty sustainable going forward.

historic-dividend
historic-dividend

Juniper Networks Is Still Building Its Track Record

The dividend's track record has been pretty solid, but with only 8 years of history we want to see a few more years of history before making any solid conclusions. Since 2014, the annual payment back then was $0.40, compared to the most recent full-year payment of $0.84. This means that it has been growing its distributions at 9.7% per annum over that time. Juniper Networks has been growing its dividend at a decent rate, and the payments have been stable. However, the payment history is very short, so there is no evidence yet that the dividend can be sustained over a full economic cycle.

Dividend Growth Is Doubtful

Investors who have held shares in the company for the past few years will be happy with the dividend income they have received. Unfortunately things aren't as good as they seem. In the last five years, Juniper Networks' earnings per share has shrunk at approximately 5.1% per annum. A modest decline in earnings isn't great, and it makes it quite unlikely that the dividend will grow in the future unless that trend can be reversed. Earnings are forecast to grow over the next 12 months and if that happens we could still be a little bit cautious until it becomes a pattern.

The Dividend Could Prove To Be Unreliable

In summary, while it's good to see that the dividend hasn't been cut, we are a bit cautious about Juniper Networks' payments, as there could be some issues with sustaining them into the future. While Juniper Networks is earning enough to cover the payments, the cash flows are lacking. Overall, we don't think this company has the makings of a good income stock.

Market movements attest to how highly valued a consistent dividend policy is compared to one which is more unpredictable. Still, investors need to consider a host of other factors, apart from dividend payments, when analysing a company. Taking the debate a bit further, we've identified 2 warning signs for Juniper Networks that investors need to be conscious of moving forward. If you are a dividend investor, you might also want to look at our curated list of high yield dividend stocks.

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

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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.

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