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It Might Be Better To Avoid CNO Financial Group, Inc.'s (NYSE:CNO) Upcoming 0.8% Dividend

Simply Wall St

Some investors rely on dividends for growing their wealth, and if you're one of those dividend sleuths, you might be intrigued to know that CNO Financial Group, Inc. (NYSE:CNO) is about to go ex-dividend in just 4 days. Ex-dividend means that investors that purchase the stock on or after the 9th of September will not receive this dividend, which will be paid on the 24th of September.

CNO Financial Group's next dividend payment will be US$0.11 per share, and in the last 12 months, the company paid a total of US$0.44 per share. Calculating the last year's worth of payments shows that CNO Financial Group has a trailing yield of 3.1% on the current share price of $14.32. If you buy this business for its dividend, you should have an idea of whether CNO Financial Group's dividend is reliable and sustainable. That's why we should always check whether the dividend payments appear sustainable, and if the company is growing.

View our latest analysis for CNO Financial Group

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. CNO Financial Group reported a loss after tax last year, which means it's paying a dividend despite being unprofitable. While this might be a one-off event, this is unlikely to be sustainable in the long term.

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

NYSE:CNO Historical Dividend Yield, September 4th 2019

Have Earnings And Dividends Been Growing?

Companies with falling earnings are riskier for dividend shareholders. If business enters a downturn and the dividend is cut, the company could see its value fall precipitously. CNO Financial Group was unprofitable last year and, unfortunately, the general trend suggests its earnings have been in decline over the last 5 years, making us wonder if the dividend is sustainable at all.

The main way most investors will assess a company's dividend prospects is by checking the historical rate of dividend growth. Since the start of our data, 7 years ago, CNO Financial Group has lifted its dividend by approximately 28% a year on average.

Get our latest analysis on CNO Financial Group's balance sheet health here.

To Sum It Up

Has CNO Financial Group got what it takes to maintain its dividend payments? First, it's not great to see the company paying a dividend despite being loss-making over the last year. Worse, the general trend in its earnings looks negative in recent years. CNO Financial Group doesn't appear to have a lot going for it, and we're not inclined to take a risk on owning it for the dividend.

Wondering what the future holds for CNO Financial Group? 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.