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 Luxfer Holdings PLC (NYSE:LXFR) is about to go ex-dividend in just 4 days. You will need to purchase shares before the 17th of October to receive the dividend, which will be paid on the 6th of November.
Luxfer Holdings's upcoming dividend is US$0.1 a share, following on from the last 12 months, when the company distributed a total of US$0.5 per share to shareholders. Based on the last year's worth of payments, Luxfer Holdings has a trailing yield of 3.2% on the current stock price of $15.59. Dividends are a major contributor to investment returns for long term holders, but only if the dividend continues to be paid. As a result, readers should always check whether Luxfer Holdings has been able to grow its dividends, or if the dividend might be cut.
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. An unusually high payout ratio of 397% of its profit suggests something is happening other than the usual distribution of profits to shareholders. A useful secondary check can be to evaluate whether Luxfer Holdings generated enough free cash flow to afford its dividend. Luxfer Holdings paid out more free cash flow than it generated - 148%, to be precise - last year, which we think is concerningly high. We're curious about why the company paid out more cash than it generated last year, since this can be one of the early signs that a dividend may be unsustainable.
Cash is slightly more important than profit from a dividend perspective, but given Luxfer Holdings's payouts were not well covered by either earnings or cash flow, we would be concerned about the sustainability of this dividend.
Have Earnings And Dividends Been Growing?
When earnings decline, dividend companies become much harder to analyse and own safely. If earnings fall far enough, the company could be forced to cut its dividend. Luxfer Holdings's earnings have collapsed faster than Wile E Coyote's schemes to trap the Road Runner; down a tremendous 37% a year over the past five years.
The main way most investors will assess a company's dividend prospects is by checking the historical rate of dividend growth. It looks like the Luxfer Holdings dividends are largely the same as they were two years ago. When earnings are declining yet the dividends are flat, typically the company is either paying out a higher portion of its earnings, or paying out of cash or debt on the balance sheet, neither of which is ideal.
Is Luxfer Holdings worth buying for its dividend? It's looking like an unattractive opportunity, with its earnings per share declining, while, paying out an uncomfortably high percentage of both its profits (397%) and cash flow (148%) as dividends. This is a clearly suboptimal combination that usually suggests the dividend is at risk of being cut. If not now, then perhaps in the future. It's not the most attractive proposition from a dividend perspective, and we'd probably give this one a miss for now.
Curious what other investors think of Luxfer Holdings? See what analysts 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.
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