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Open Text's (NASDAQ:OTEX) Shareholders Will Receive A Bigger Dividend Than Last Year

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Open Text Corporation (NASDAQ:OTEX) has announced that it will be increasing its dividend on the 22nd of December to US$0.22. This takes the dividend yield to 1.7%, which shareholders will be pleased with.

See our latest analysis for Open Text

Open Text's Payment Has Solid Earnings Coverage

Impressive dividend yields are good, but this doesn't matter much if the payments can't be sustained. Prior to this announcement, Open Text's dividend was comfortably covered by both cash flow and earnings. This indicates that quite a large proportion of earnings is being invested back into the business.

Looking forward, earnings per share is forecast to rise by 47.2% over the next year. If the dividend continues along recent trends, we estimate the payout ratio will be 52%, which is in the range that makes us comfortable with the sustainability of the dividend.

historic-dividend
historic-dividend

Open Text Doesn't Have A Long Payment History

Open Text's dividend has been pretty stable for a little while now, but we will continue to be cautious until it has been demonstrated for a few more years. Since 2012, the first annual payment was US$0.30, compared to the most recent full-year payment of US$0.88. This implies that the company grew its distributions at a yearly rate of about 13% over that duration. It is always nice to see strong dividend growth, but with such a short payment history we wouldn't be inclined to rely on it until a longer track record can be developed.

Dividend Growth Potential Is Shaky

Investors who have held shares in the company for the past few years will be happy with the dividend income they have received. However, things aren't all that rosy. Earnings per share has been sinking by 23% over the last five years. Such rapid declines definitely have the potential to constrain dividend payments if the trend continues into the future. Over the next year, however, earnings are actually predicted to rise, but we would still be cautious until a track record of earnings growth can be built.

In Summary

Overall, this is probably not a great income stock, even though the dividend is being raised at the moment. In the past, the payments have been unstable, but over the short term the dividend could be reliable, with the company generating enough cash to cover it. We don't think Open Text is a great stock to add to your portfolio if income is your focus.

Investors generally tend to favour companies with a consistent, stable dividend policy as opposed to those operating an irregular one. Still, investors need to consider a host of other factors, apart from dividend payments, when analysing a company. Taking the debate a bit further, we've identified 3 warning signs for Open Text that investors need to be conscious of moving forward. We have also put together a list of global stocks with a solid dividend.

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.

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