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REV Group, Inc. (NYSE:REVG) is about to trade ex-dividend in the next four days. The ex-dividend date is usually set to be one business day before the record date which is the cut-off date on which you must be present on the company's books as a shareholder in order to receive the dividend. The ex-dividend date is an important date to be aware of as any purchase of the stock made on or after this date might mean a late settlement that doesn't show on the record date. Meaning, you will need to purchase REV Group's shares before the 29th of June to receive the dividend, which will be paid on the 15th of July.
The company's upcoming dividend is US$0.05 a share, following on from the last 12 months, when the company distributed a total of US$0.20 per share to shareholders. Based on the last year's worth of payments, REV Group stock has a trailing yield of around 1.2% on the current share price of $16.1. 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 REV Group 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. Fortunately REV Group's payout ratio is modest, at just 47% of profit. That said, even highly profitable companies sometimes might not generate enough cash to pay the dividend, which is why we should always check if the dividend is covered by cash flow. What's good is that dividends were well covered by free cash flow, with the company paying out 5.7% of its cash flow last year.
It's positive to see that REV Group'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?
When earnings decline, dividend companies become much harder to analyse and own safely. Investors love dividends, so if earnings fall and the dividend is reduced, expect a stock to be sold off heavily at the same time. With that in mind, we're discomforted by REV Group's 24% per annum decline in earnings in the past five years. Ultimately, when earnings per share decline, the size of the pie from which dividends can be paid, shrinks.
The main way most investors will assess a company's dividend prospects is by checking the historical rate of dividend growth. REV Group's dividend payments are effectively flat on where they were four years ago. When earnings are declining yet the dividends are flat, typically the company is either paying out a higher portion of its earnings, or paying out of cash or debt on the balance sheet, neither of which is ideal.
Is REV Group worth buying for its dividend? REV Group has comfortably low cash and profit payout ratios, which may mean the dividend is sustainable even in the face of a sharp decline in earnings per share. Still, we consider declining earnings to be a warning sign. Overall, it's not a bad combination, but we feel that there are likely more attractive dividend prospects out there.
So while REV Group looks good from a dividend perspective, it's always worthwhile being up to date with the risks involved in this stock. To that end, you should learn about the 4 warning signs we've spotted with REV Group (including 1 which is a bit unpleasant).
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.
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. 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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