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Readers hoping to buy World Fuel Services Corporation (NYSE:INT) for its dividend will need to make their move shortly, as the stock is about to trade ex-dividend. 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 important because any transaction on a stock needs to have been settled before the record date in order to be eligible for a dividend. Accordingly, World Fuel Services investors that purchase the stock on or after the 3rd of June will not receive the dividend, which will be paid on the 1st of July.
The company's upcoming dividend is US$0.12 a share, following on from the last 12 months, when the company distributed a total of US$0.48 per share to shareholders. Based on the last year's worth of payments, World Fuel Services stock has a trailing yield of around 1.6% on the current share price of $30.73. If you buy this business for its dividend, you should have an idea of whether World Fuel Services's dividend is reliable and sustainable. We need to see whether the dividend is covered by earnings and if it's growing.
If a company pays out more in dividends than it earned, then the dividend might become unsustainable - hardly an ideal situation. Fortunately World Fuel Services's payout ratio is modest, at just 30% of profit. A useful secondary check can be to evaluate whether World Fuel Services generated enough free cash flow to afford its dividend. The good news is it paid out just 3.8% of its free cash flow in the last year.
It's positive to see that World Fuel Services'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. If earnings decline and the company is forced to cut its dividend, investors could watch the value of their investment go up in smoke. With that in mind, we're discomforted by World Fuel Services's 11% per annum decline in earnings in the past five years. When earnings per share fall, the maximum amount of dividends that can be paid also falls.
Another key way to measure a company's dividend prospects is by measuring its historical rate of dividend growth. In the past 10 years, World Fuel Services has increased its dividend at approximately 12% a year on average.
Has World Fuel Services got what it takes to maintain its dividend payments? Earnings per share are down meaningfully, although at least the company is paying out a low and conservative percentage of both its earnings and cash flow. It's definitely not great to see earnings falling, but at least there may be some buffer before the dividend needs to be cut. Overall, it's hard to get excited about World Fuel Services from a dividend perspective.
So while World Fuel Services looks good from a dividend perspective, it's always worthwhile being up to date with the risks involved in this stock. For example, we've found 2 warning signs for World Fuel Services that we recommend you consider before investing in the business.
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.
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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