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Leon's Furniture Limited (TSE:LNF) Looks Like A Good Stock, And It's Going Ex-Dividend Soon

Simply Wall St

It looks like Leon's Furniture Limited (TSE:LNF) is about to go ex-dividend in the next 4 days. If you purchase the stock on or after the 5th of September, you won't be eligible to receive this dividend, when it is paid on the 7th of October.

Leon's Furniture's next dividend payment will be CA$0.14 per share, on the back of last year when the company paid a total of CA$0.56 to shareholders. Based on the last year's worth of payments, Leon's Furniture has a trailing yield of 3.6% on the current stock price of CA$15.72. Dividends are a major contributor to investment returns for long term holders, but only if the dividend continues to be paid. That's why we should always check whether the dividend payments appear sustainable, and if the company is growing.

See our latest analysis for Leon's Furniture

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 Leon's Furniture's payout ratio is modest, at just 40% of profit. 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. It distributed 28% of its free cash flow as dividends, a comfortable payout level for most companies.

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.

TSX:LNF Historical Dividend Yield, August 31st 2019

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 business enters a downturn and the dividend is cut, the company could see its value fall precipitously. This is why it's a relief to see Leon's Furniture earnings per share are up 7.5% per annum over the last five years. The company is retaining more than half of its earnings within the business, and it has been growing earnings at a decent rate. We think this is generally an attractive combination, as dividends can grow through a combination of earnings growth and or a higher payout ratio over time.

Another key way to measure a company's dividend prospects is by measuring its historical rate of dividend growth. Since the start of our data, 10 years ago, Leon's Furniture has lifted its dividend by approximately 7.2% a year on average. We're glad to see dividends rising alongside earnings over a number of years, which may be a sign the company intends to share the growth with shareholders.

Final Takeaway

From a dividend perspective, should investors buy or avoid Leon's Furniture? Earnings per share growth has been growing somewhat, and Leon's Furniture is paying out less than half its earnings and cash flow as dividends. This is interesting for a few reasons, as it suggests management may be reinvesting heavily in the business, but it also provides room to increase the dividend in time. We would prefer to see earnings growing faster, but the best dividend stocks over the long term typically combine significant earnings per share growth with a low payout ratio, and Leon's Furniture is halfway there. It's a promising combination that should mark this company worthy of closer attention.

Ever wonder what the future holds for Leon's Furniture? See what the two analysts we track are forecasting, with this visualisation of its historical and future estimated earnings and cash flow

We wouldn't recommend just buying the first dividend stock you see, though. Here's a list of interesting 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.