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Read This Before Considering Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. (NASDAQ:CBRL) For Its Upcoming 2.4% Dividend

Simply Wall St

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It looks like Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. (NASDAQ:CBRL) is about to go ex-dividend in the next 4 days. You can purchase shares before the 18th of July in order to receive the dividend, which the company will pay on the 2nd of August.

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store's upcoming dividend is US$4.30 a share, following on from the last 12 months, when the company distributed a total of US$8.20 per share to shareholders. Based on the last year's worth of payments, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store stock has a trailing yield of around 4.6% on the current share price of $178.53. If you buy this business for its dividend, you should have an idea of whether Cracker Barrel Old Country Store's dividend is reliable and sustainable. That's why we should always check whether the dividend payments appear sustainable, and if the company is growing.

View our latest analysis for Cracker Barrel Old Country Store

Dividends are typically paid out of company income, so if a company pays out more than it earned, its dividend is usually at a higher risk of being cut. Cracker Barrel Old Country Store paid out 55% of its earnings to investors last year, a normal payout level for most businesses. Yet cash flows are even more important than profits for assessing a dividend, so we need to see if the company generated enough cash to pay its distribution. Dividends consumed 57% of the company's free cash flow last year, which is within a normal range for most dividend-paying organisations.

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:CBRL Historical Dividend Yield, July 13th 2019

Have Earnings And Dividends Been Growing?

Businesses with strong growth prospects usually make the best dividend payers, because it's easier to grow dividends when earnings per share are improving. If business enters a downturn and the dividend is cut, the company could see its value fall precipitously. Fortunately for readers, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store's earnings per share have been growing at 13% a year for the past five years.

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store is paying out a bit over half its earnings, which suggests the company is striking a balance between reinvesting in growth, and paying dividends. Given the quick rate of earnings per share growth and current level of payout, there may be a chance of further dividend increases in the future.

Another key way to measure a company's dividend prospects is by measuring its historical rate of dividend growth. Cracker Barrel Old Country Store has delivered an average of 26% per year annual increase in its dividend, based on the past 10 years of dividend payments. Both per-share earnings and dividends have both been growing rapidly in recent times, which is great to see.

To Sum It Up

Is Cracker Barrel Old Country Store an attractive dividend stock, or better left on the shelf? Higher earnings per share generally lead to higher dividends from dividend-paying stocks over the long run. However, we'd also note that Cracker Barrel Old Country Store is paying out more than half of its earnings and cash flow as profits, which could limit the dividend growth if earnings growth slows. Overall, it's not a bad combination, but we feel that there are likely more attractive dividend prospects out there.

Ever wonder what the future holds for Cracker Barrel Old Country Store? See what the eight analysts we track 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.

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.

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. Thank you for reading.