Readers hoping to buy Brigham Minerals, Inc. (NYSE:MNRL) for its dividend will need to make their move shortly, as the stock is about to trade ex-dividend. This means that investors who purchase shares on or after the 19th of November will not receive the dividend, which will be paid on the 27th of November.
Brigham Minerals's next dividend payment will be US$0.33 per share. Last year, in total, the company distributed US$1.32 to shareholders. Last year's total dividend payments show that Brigham Minerals has a trailing yield of 6.6% on the current share price of $20.04. We love seeing companies pay a dividend, but it's also important to be sure that laying the golden eggs isn't going to kill our golden goose! So we need to check whether the dividend payments are covered, and if earnings are growing.
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. An unusually high payout ratio of 287% 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 Brigham Minerals generated enough free cash flow to afford its dividend. The company paid out 97% of its free cash flow over the last year, which we think is outside the ideal range for most businesses. Cash flows are usually much more volatile than earnings, so this could be a temporary effect - but we'd generally want look more closely here.
Cash is slightly more important than profit from a dividend perspective, but given Brigham Minerals'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?
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. Brigham Minerals's earnings per share plummeted 78% over the past year,which is rarely good news for the dividend.
Brigham Minerals also issued more than 5% of its market cap in new stock during the past year, which we feel is likely to hurt its dividend prospects in the long run. Trying to grow the dividend while issuing large amounts of new shares reminds us of the ancient Greek tale of Sisyphus - perpetually pushing a boulder uphill.
This is Brigham Minerals's first year of paying a dividend, so it doesn't have much of a history yet to compare to.
To Sum It Up
From a dividend perspective, should investors buy or avoid Brigham Minerals? Not only are earnings per share declining, but Brigham Minerals is paying out an uncomfortably high percentage of both its earnings and cashflow to shareholders as dividends. Unless there are grounds to believe a turnaround is imminent, this is one of the least attractive dividend stocks under this analysis. Bottom line: Brigham Minerals has some unfortunate characteristics that we think could lead to sub-optimal outcomes for dividend investors.
Ever wonder what the future holds for Brigham Minerals? See what the nine 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.
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