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Read This Before Considering RPM International Inc. (NYSE:RPM) For Its Upcoming 0.6% Dividend

Simply Wall St

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Readers hoping to buy RPM International Inc. (NYSE:RPM) for its dividend will need to make their move shortly, as the stock is about to trade ex-dividend. If you purchase the stock on or after the 15th of July, you won't be eligible to receive this dividend, when it is paid on the 31st of July.

RPM International's upcoming dividend is US$0.35 a share, following on from the last 12 months, when the company distributed a total of US$1.40 per share to shareholders. Looking at the last 12 months of distributions, RPM International has a trailing yield of approximately 2.3% on its current stock price of $61.12. Dividends are a major contributor to investment returns for long term holders, but only if the dividend continues to be paid. That's why we should always check whether the dividend payments appear sustainable, and if the company is growing.

See our latest analysis for RPM International

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. Its dividend payout ratio is 81% of profit, which means the company is paying out a majority of its earnings. The relatively limited profit reinvestment could slow the rate of future earnings growth It could become a concern if earnings started to decline. 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 66% of its free cash flow as dividends, within the usual range for most companies.

It's positive to see that RPM International'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.

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

NYSE:RPM Historical Dividend Yield, July 12th 2019

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. If earnings decline and the company is forced to cut its dividend, investors could watch the value of their investment go up in smoke. For this reason, we're glad to see RPM International's earnings per share have risen 17% per annum over the last five years.

The company paid out most of its earnings as dividends over the last year, even though business is booming and earnings per share are growing rapidly. Higher earnings generally bode well for growing dividends, although with seemingly strong growth prospects we'd wonder why management are not reinvesting more in the business.

Many investors will assess a company's dividend performance by evaluating how much the dividend payments have changed over time. RPM International has delivered an average of 5.8% per year annual increase in its dividend, based on the past 10 years of dividend payments. Earnings per share have been growing much quicker than dividends, potentially because RPM International is keeping back more of its profits to grow the business.

Final Takeaway

Has RPM International got what it takes to maintain its dividend payments? Higher earnings per share generally lead to higher dividends from dividend-paying stocks over the long run. That's why we're glad to see RPM International's earnings per share growing, although as we saw, the company is paying out more than half of its earnings and cashflow - 81% and 66% respectively. Overall, it's hard to get excited about RPM International from a dividend perspective.

Ever wonder what the future holds for RPM International? See what the 11 analysts we track are forecasting, with this visualisation of its historical and future estimated earnings and cash flow

If you're in the market for dividend stocks, we recommend checking our list of top 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.