Northern Star Resources Limited (ASX:NST) stock is about to trade ex-dividend in 4 days time. If you purchase the stock on or after the 29th of October, you won't be eligible to receive this dividend, when it is paid on the 20th of November.
Northern Star Resources's next dividend payment will be AU$0.07 per share, and in the last 12 months, the company paid a total of AU$0.1 per share. Based on the last year's worth of payments, Northern Star Resources has a trailing yield of 1.6% on the current stock price of A$9.64. Dividends are a major contributor to investment returns for long term holders, but only if the dividend continues to be paid. So we need to investigate whether Northern Star Resources can afford its dividend, and if the dividend could grow.
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. Northern Star Resources paid out more than half (55%) of its earnings last year, which is a regular payout ratio for most companies. 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. Over the last year, it paid out more than three-quarters (76%) of its free cash flow generated, which is fairly high and may be starting to limit reinvestment in the business.
It's positive to see that Northern Star Resources's dividend is covered by both profits and cash flow, since this is generally a sign that the dividend is sustainable, and a lower payout ratio usually suggests a greater margin of safety before the dividend gets cut.
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 earnings fall far enough, the company could be forced to cut its dividend. It's encouraging to see Northern Star Resources has grown its earnings rapidly, up 40% a year for the past five years.
Many investors will assess a company's dividend performance by evaluating how much the dividend payments have changed over time. Northern Star Resources has delivered 29% dividend growth per year on average over the past seven years. It's exciting to see that both earnings and dividends per share have grown rapidly over the past few years.
To Sum It Up
Is Northern Star Resources worth buying for its dividend? Higher earnings per share generally lead to higher dividends from dividend-paying stocks over the long run. However, we'd also note that Northern Star Resources is paying out more than half of its earnings and cash flow as profits, which could limit the dividend growth if earnings growth slows. All things considered, we are not particularly enthused about Northern Star Resources from a dividend perspective.
Curious what other investors think of Northern Star Resources? See what analysts are forecasting, with this visualisation of its historical and future estimated earnings and cash flow.
We wouldn't recommend just buying the first dividend stock you see, though. Here's a list of interesting dividend stocks with a greater than 2% yield and an upcoming dividend.
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If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.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.