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Innospec Inc. (NASDAQ:IOSP) stock is about to trade ex-dividend in 4 days. If you purchase the stock on or after the 16th of November, you won't be eligible to receive this dividend, when it is paid on the 25th of November.
Innospec's next dividend payment will be US$0.52 per share, on the back of last year when the company paid a total of US$1.04 to shareholders. Based on the last year's worth of payments, Innospec has a trailing yield of 1.3% on the current stock price of $79.61. Dividends are an important source of income to many shareholders, but the health of the business is crucial to maintaining those dividends. That's why we should always check whether the dividend payments appear sustainable, and if the company is growing.
Dividends are typically paid out of company income, so if a company pays out more than it earned, its dividend is usually at a higher risk of being cut. Innospec is paying out an acceptable 69% 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. Luckily it paid out just 22% of its free cash flow last year.
It's positive to see that Innospec'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.
Have Earnings And Dividends Been Growing?
Businesses with shrinking earnings are tricky from a dividend perspective. If earnings fall far enough, the company could be forced to cut its dividend. Innospec's earnings per share have fallen at approximately 15% a year over the previous five years. When earnings per share fall, the maximum amount of dividends that can be paid also falls.
Many investors will assess a company's dividend performance by evaluating how much the dividend payments have changed over time. In the last seven years, Innospec has lifted its dividend by approximately 11% a year on average. Growing the dividend payout ratio while earnings are declining can deliver nice returns for a while, but it's always worth checking for when the company can't increase the payout ratio any more - because then the music stops.
To Sum It Up
Is Innospec an attractive dividend stock, or better left on the shelf? We're not enthused by the declining earnings per share, although at least the company's payout ratio is within a reasonable range, meaning it may not be at imminent risk of a dividend cut. In summary, while it has some positive characteristics, we're not inclined to race out and buy Innospec today.
If you want to look further into Innospec, it's worth knowing the risks this business faces. Every company has risks, and we've spotted 2 warning signs for Innospec you should know about.
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.
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