Readers hoping to buy Caleres, Inc. (NYSE:CAL) for its dividend will need to make their move shortly, as the stock is about to trade ex-dividend. If you purchase the stock on or after the 11th of September, you won't be eligible to receive this dividend, when it is paid on the 1st of October.
Caleres's next dividend payment will be US$0.07 per share. Last year, in total, the company distributed US$0.28 to shareholders. Calculating the last year's worth of payments shows that Caleres has a trailing yield of 1.3% on the current share price of $21.02. Dividends are an important source of income to many shareholders, but the health of the business is crucial to maintaining those dividends. That's why we should always check whether the dividend payments appear sustainable, and if the company is 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. Caleres paid a dividend last year despite being unprofitable. This might be a one-off event, but it's not a sustainable state of affairs in the long run. Considering the lack of profitability, we also need to check if the company generated enough cash flow to cover the dividend payment. If Caleres didn't generate enough cash to pay the dividend, then it must have either paid from cash in the bank or by borrowing money, neither of which is sustainable in the long term. It paid out 15% of its free cash flow as dividends last year, which is conservatively low.
Have Earnings And Dividends Been Growing?
Companies with falling earnings are riskier for dividend shareholders. If earnings decline and the company is forced to cut its dividend, investors could watch the value of their investment go up in smoke. Caleres 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.
Many investors will assess a company's dividend performance by evaluating how much the dividend payments have changed over time. It looks like the Caleres dividends are largely the same as they were ten 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.
Remember, you can always get a snapshot of Caleres's financial health, by checking our visualisation of its financial health, here.
To Sum It Up
Should investors buy Caleres for the upcoming dividend? First, it's not great to see the company paying a dividend despite being loss-making over the last year. On the plus side, the dividend was covered by free cash flow. With the way things are shaping up from a dividend perspective, we'd be inclined to steer clear of Caleres.
Curious what other investors think of Caleres? See what analysts are forecasting, with this visualisation of its historical and future estimated earnings and cash flow .
A common investment mistake is buying the first interesting stock you see. Here you can find a list of promising dividend stocks with a greater than 2% yield and an upcoming dividend.
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