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Shareholders Are Loving Regal Beloit Corporation's (NYSE:RBC) 1.6% Yield

Simply Wall St

Could Regal Beloit Corporation (NYSE:RBC) be an attractive dividend share to own for the long haul? Investors are often drawn to strong companies with the idea of reinvesting the dividends. Unfortunately, it's common for investors to be enticed in by the seemingly attractive yield, and lose money when the company has to cut its dividend payments.

A slim 1.6% yield is hard to get excited about, but the long payment history is respectable. At the right price, or with strong growth opportunities, Regal Beloit could have potential. The company also bought back stock during the year, equivalent to approximately 3.9% of the company's market capitalisation at the time. There are a few simple ways to reduce the risks of buying Regal Beloit for its dividend, and we'll go through these below.

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NYSE:RBC Historical Dividend Yield, August 11th 2019

Payout ratios

Dividends are usually paid out of company earnings. If a company is paying more than it earns, then the dividend might become unsustainable - hardly an ideal situation. Comparing dividend payments to a company's net profit after tax is a simple way of reality-checking whether a dividend is sustainable. Looking at the data, we can see that 19% of Regal Beloit's profits were paid out as dividends in the last 12 months. We'd say its dividends are thoroughly covered by earnings.

We also measure dividends paid against a company's levered free cash flow, to see if enough cash was generated to cover the dividend. Regal Beloit's cash payout ratio last year was 19%, which is quite low and suggests that the dividend was thoroughly covered by cash flow. 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.

Consider getting our latest analysis on Regal Beloit's financial position here.

Dividend Volatility

Before buying a stock for its income, we want to see if the dividends have been stable in the past, and if the company has a track record of maintaining its dividend. For the purpose of this article, we only scrutinise the last decade of Regal Beloit's dividend payments. During this period the dividend has been stable, which could imply the business could have relatively consistent earnings power. During the past ten-year period, the first annual payment was US$0.64 in 2009, compared to US$1.20 last year. This works out to be a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 6.5% a year over that time.

Companies like this, growing their dividend at a decent rate, can be very valuable over the long term, if the rate of growth can be maintained.

Dividend Growth Potential

Dividend payments have been consistent over the past few years, but we should always check if earnings per share (EPS) are growing, as this will help maintain the purchasing power of the dividend. Strong earnings per share (EPS) growth might encourage our interest in the company despite fluctuating dividends, which is why it's great to see Regal Beloit has grown its earnings per share at 18% per annum over the past five years. Earnings per share are growing at a solid clip, and the payout ratio is low. We think this is an ideal combination in a dividend stock.

Conclusion

When we look at a dividend stock, we need to form a judgement on whether the dividend will grow, if the company is able to maintain it in a wide range of economic circumstances, and if the dividend payout is sustainable. It's great to see that Regal Beloit is paying out a low percentage of its earnings and cash flow. Second, it has a limited history of earnings per share growth, but at least the dividends have been relatively stable. Overall, we think there are a lot of positives to Regal Beloit from a dividend perspective.

Earnings growth generally bodes well for the future value of company dividend payments. See if the 9 Regal Beloit analysts we track are forecasting continued growth with our free report on analyst estimates for the company.

Looking for more high-yielding dividend ideas? Try our curated list of dividend stocks with a yield above 3%.

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.