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ManTech International Corporation (NASDAQ:MANT)'s Could Be A Buy For Its Upcoming Dividend

Simply Wall St

Readers hoping to buy ManTech International Corporation (NASDAQ:MANT) for its dividend will need to make their move shortly, as the stock is about to trade ex-dividend. Investors can purchase shares before the 5th of March in order to be eligible for this dividend, which will be paid on the 20th of March.

ManTech International's upcoming dividend is US$0.32 a share, following on from the last 12 months, when the company distributed a total of US$1.28 per share to shareholders. Looking at the last 12 months of distributions, ManTech International has a trailing yield of approximately 1.7% on its current stock price of $74.89. 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.

View our latest analysis for ManTech International

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. That's why it's good to see ManTech International paying out a modest 38% 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. Thankfully its dividend payments took up just 27% of the free cash flow it generated, which is a comfortable payout ratio.

It's positive to see that ManTech International'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.

Click here to see the company's payout ratio, plus analyst estimates of its future dividends.

NasdaqGS:MANT Historical Dividend Yield, February 29th 2020

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. For this reason, we're glad to see ManTech International's earnings per share have risen 18% per annum over the last five years. Earnings per share have been growing rapidly and the company is retaining a majority of its earnings within the business. Fast-growing businesses that are reinvesting heavily are enticing from a dividend perspective, especially since they can often increase the payout ratio later.

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, nine years ago, ManTech International has lifted its dividend by approximately 4.8% a year on average. It's good to see both earnings and the dividend have improved - although the former has been rising much quicker than the latter, possibly due to the company reinvesting more of its profits in growth.

To Sum It Up

Is ManTech International worth buying for its dividend? We love that ManTech International is growing earnings per share while simultaneously paying out a low percentage of both its earnings and cash flow. These characteristics suggest the company is reinvesting in growing its business, while the conservative payout ratio also implies a reduced risk of the dividend being cut in the future. There's a lot to like about ManTech International, and we would prioritise taking a closer look at it.

Wondering what the future holds for ManTech International? See what the seven analysts we track are forecasting, with this visualisation of its historical and future estimated earnings and cash flow

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.

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.

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. Thank you for reading.