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Nexstar Media Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:NXST) Looks Like A Good Stock, And It's Going Ex-Dividend Soon

Simply Wall St

Nexstar Media Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:NXST) stock is about to trade ex-dividend in 3 days time. This means that investors who purchase shares on or after the 13th of February will not receive the dividend, which will be paid on the 28th of February.

Nexstar Media Group's next dividend payment will be US$0.56 per share. Last year, in total, the company distributed US$1.80 to shareholders. Calculating the last year's worth of payments shows that Nexstar Media Group has a trailing yield of 1.8% on the current share price of $122.21. 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! That's why we should always check whether the dividend payments appear sustainable, and if the company is growing.

See our latest analysis for Nexstar Media 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. That's why it's good to see Nexstar Media Group paying out a modest 29% of its earnings. Yet cash flow is typically more important than profit for assessing dividend sustainability, so we should always check if the company generated enough cash to afford its dividend. It paid out 19% of its free cash flow as dividends last year, which is conservatively low.

It's encouraging to see that the dividend is covered by both profit and cash flow. This generally suggests the dividend is sustainable, as long as earnings don't drop precipitously.

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

NasdaqGS:NXST Historical Dividend Yield, February 9th 2020

Have Earnings And Dividends Been Growing?

Companies with consistently growing earnings per share generally make the best dividend stocks, as they usually find it easier to grow dividends per share. Investors love dividends, so if earnings fall and the dividend is reduced, expect a stock to be sold off heavily at the same time. It's encouraging to see Nexstar Media Group has grown its earnings rapidly, up 36% a year for the past five years. Earnings per share have been growing very quickly, and the company is paying out a relatively low percentage of its profit and cash flow. This is a very favourable combination that can often lead to the dividend multiplying over the long term, if earnings grow and the company pays out a higher percentage of its earnings.

Another key way to measure a company's dividend prospects is by measuring its historical rate of dividend growth. Nexstar Media Group has delivered an average of 25% per year annual increase in its dividend, based on the past seven years of dividend payments. It's great to see earnings per share growing rapidly over several years, and dividends per share growing right along with it.

To Sum It Up

Should investors buy Nexstar Media Group for the upcoming dividend? Nexstar Media Group has been growing earnings at a rapid rate, and has a conservatively low payout ratio, implying that it is reinvesting heavily in its business; a sterling combination. Overall we think this is an attractive combination and worthy of further research.

Curious what other investors think of Nexstar Media Group? 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.

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.

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. Thank you for reading.