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SeaLink Travel Group Limited (ASX:SLK) Looks Like A Good Stock, And It's Going Ex-Dividend Soon

Simply Wall St

Some investors rely on dividends for growing their wealth, and if you're one of those dividend sleuths, you might be intrigued to know that SeaLink Travel Group Limited (ASX:SLK) is about to go ex-dividend in just 4 days. Ex-dividend means that investors that purchase the stock on or after the 3rd of September will not receive this dividend, which will be paid on the 17th of September.

SeaLink Travel Group's upcoming dividend is AU$0.085 a share, following on from the last 12 months, when the company distributed a total of AU$0.15 per share to shareholders. Last year's total dividend payments show that SeaLink Travel Group has a trailing yield of 3.9% on the current share price of A$3.8. We love seeing companies pay a dividend, but it's also important to be sure that laying the golden eggs isn't going to kill our golden goose! As a result, readers should always check whether SeaLink Travel Group has been able to grow its dividends, or if the dividend might be cut.

Check out our latest analysis for SeaLink Travel Group

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 SeaLink Travel Group's payout ratio is modest, at just 50% of profit. Yet cash flow is typically more important than profit for assessing dividend sustainability, so we should always check if the company generated enough cash to afford its dividend. Dividends consumed 64% of the company's free cash flow last year, which is within a normal range for most dividend-paying organisations.

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.

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

ASX:SLK Historical Dividend Yield, August 29th 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 fall far enough, the company could be forced to cut its dividend. For this reason, we're glad to see SeaLink Travel Group's earnings per share have risen 14% per annum over the last five years. SeaLink Travel Group has an average payout ratio which suggests a balance between growing earnings and rewarding shareholders. This is a reasonable combination that could hint at some further dividend increases in the future.

Many investors will assess a company's dividend performance by evaluating how much the dividend payments have changed over time. In the last 6 years, SeaLink Travel Group has lifted its dividend by approximately 9.0% a year on average. It's encouraging to see the company lifting dividends while earnings are growing, suggesting at least some corporate interest in rewarding shareholders.

The Bottom Line

From a dividend perspective, should investors buy or avoid SeaLink Travel Group? From a dividend perspective, we're encouraged to see that earnings per share have been growing, the company is paying out less than half of its earnings, and a bit over half its free cash flow. Overall we think this is an attractive combination and worthy of further research.

Ever wonder what the future holds for SeaLink Travel Group? See what the four 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.