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National HealthCare Corporation (NYSEMKT:NHC): 4 Days To Buy Before The Ex-Dividend Date

Felix Olson

Attention dividend hunters! National HealthCare Corporation (NYSEMKT:NHC) will be distributing its dividend of US$0.50 per share on the 01 March 2019, and will start trading ex-dividend in 4 days time on the 28 December 2018. Investors looking for higher income-generating stocks to add to their portfolio should keep reading, as I examine National HealthCare’s latest financial data to analyse its dividend characteristics.

View our latest analysis for National HealthCare

5 questions to ask before buying a dividend stock

If you are a dividend investor, you should always assess these five key metrics:

  • Does it pay an annual yield higher than 75% of dividend payers?
  • Has it consistently paid a stable dividend without missing a payment or drastically cutting payout?
  • Has dividend per share risen in the past couple of years?
  • Can it afford to pay the current rate of dividends from its earnings?
  • Will it be able to continue to payout at the current rate in the future?
AMEX:NHC Historical Dividend Yield December 23rd 18

How does National HealthCare fare?

National HealthCare has a trailing twelve-month payout ratio of 48%, which means that the dividend is covered by earnings. Furthermore, analysts have not forecasted a dividends per share for the future, which makes it hard to determine the yield shareholders should expect, and whether the current payout is sustainable, moving forward.

When thinking about whether a dividend is sustainable, another factor to consider is the cash flow. A company with strong cash flow, relative to earnings, can sometimes sustain a high pay out ratio.

If there’s one type of stock you want to be reliable, it’s dividend stocks and their stable income-generating ability. NHC has increased its DPS from $0.96 to $2 in the past 10 years. It has also been paying out dividend consistently during this time, as you’d expect for a company increasing its dividend levels. These are all positive signs of a great, reliable dividend stock.

Relative to peers, National HealthCare has a yield of 2.7%, which is high for Healthcare stocks but still below the market’s top dividend payers.

Next Steps:

Keeping in mind the dividend characteristics above, National HealthCare is definitely worth considering for investors looking to build a dedicated income portfolio. Given that this is purely a dividend analysis, I recommend taking sufficient time to understand its core business and determine whether the company and its investment properties suit your overall goals. I’ve put together three pertinent aspects you should further examine:

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for NHC’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for NHC’s outlook.
  2. Valuation: What is NHC worth today? Even if the stock is a cash cow, it’s not worth an infinite price. The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether NHC is currently mispriced by the market.
  3. Other Dividend Rockstars: Are there better dividend payers with stronger fundamentals out there? Check out our free list of these great stocks here.

To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.

The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com.