It looks like RedHill Education Limited (ASX:RDH) is about to go ex-dividend in the next 4 days. If you purchase the stock on or after the 10th of September, you won't be eligible to receive this dividend, when it is paid on the 30th of September.
RedHill Education's next dividend payment will be AU$0.02 per share, and in the last 12 months, the company paid a total of AU$0.04 per share. Based on the last year's worth of payments, RedHill Education has a trailing yield of 1.8% on the current stock price of A$2.24. Dividends are a major contributor to investment returns for long term holders, but only if the dividend continues to be paid. We need to see whether the dividend is covered by earnings and if it's growing.
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. RedHill Education paid out a comfortable 41% of its profit last year. 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. Thankfully its dividend payments took up just 32% of the free cash flow it generated, which is a comfortable payout ratio.
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.
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. Readers will understand then, why we're concerned to see RedHill Education's earnings per share have dropped 9.5% a year over the past five years. When earnings per share fall, the maximum amount of dividends that can be paid also falls.
Many investors will assess a company's dividend performance by evaluating how much the dividend payments have changed over time. RedHill Education has delivered an average of 41% per year annual increase in its dividend, based on the past 2 years of dividend payments.
The Bottom Line
Is RedHill Education worth buying for its dividend? 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 RedHill Education from a dividend perspective.
Wondering what the future holds for RedHill Education? See what the two 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.
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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.