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Kforce (NASDAQ:KFRC) Could Be A Buy For Its Upcoming Dividend

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Regular readers will know that we love our dividends at Simply Wall St, which is why it's exciting to see Kforce Inc. (NASDAQ:KFRC) is about to trade ex-dividend in the next four days. This means that investors who purchase shares on or after the 3rd of December will not receive the dividend, which will be paid on the 18th of December.

Kforce's next dividend payment will be US$0.20 per share, and in the last 12 months, the company paid a total of US$0.80 per share. Last year's total dividend payments show that Kforce has a trailing yield of 1.9% on the current share price of $42.03. Dividends are a major contributor to investment returns for long term holders, but only if the dividend continues to be paid. We need to see whether the dividend is covered by earnings and if it's growing.

Check out our latest analysis for Kforce

Dividends are typically paid from company earnings. If a company pays more in dividends than it earned in profit, then the dividend could be unsustainable. Fortunately Kforce's payout ratio is modest, at just 32% of profit. A useful secondary check can be to evaluate whether Kforce generated enough free cash flow to afford its dividend. What's good is that dividends were well covered by free cash flow, with the company paying out 16% of its cash flow last year.

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.

historic-dividend
historic-dividend

Have Earnings And Dividends Been Growing?

Businesses with strong growth prospects usually make the best dividend payers, because it's easier to grow dividends when earnings per share are improving. If earnings fall far enough, the company could be forced to cut its dividend. That's why it's comforting to see Kforce's earnings have been skyrocketing, up 21% per annum for the past five years. Earnings per share have been growing very quickly, and the company is paying out a relatively low percentage of its profit and cash flow. This is a very favourable combination that can often lead to the dividend multiplying over the long term, if earnings grow and the company pays out a higher percentage of its earnings.

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, seven years ago, Kforce has lifted its dividend by approximately 10% a year on average. It's great to see earnings per share growing rapidly over several years, and dividends per share growing right along with it.

To Sum It Up

Is Kforce an attractive dividend stock, or better left on the shelf? Kforce has been growing earnings at a rapid rate, and has a conservatively low payout ratio, implying that it is reinvesting heavily in its business; a sterling combination. Overall we think this is an attractive combination and worthy of further research.

While it's tempting to invest in Kforce for the dividends alone, you should always be mindful of the risks involved. To help with this, we've discovered 3 warning signs for Kforce that you should be aware of before investing in their shares.

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.