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Is It Smart To Buy Birla Corporation Limited (NSE:BIRLACORPN) Before It Goes Ex-Dividend?

Simply Wall St

Readers hoping to buy Birla Corporation Limited (NSE:BIRLACORPN) for its dividend will need to make their move shortly, as the stock is about to trade ex-dividend. You can purchase shares before the 5th of August in order to receive the dividend, which the company will pay on the 21st of August.

Birla's next dividend payment will be ₹7.50 per share, on the back of last year when the company paid a total of ₹7.50 to shareholders. Calculating the last year's worth of payments shows that Birla has a trailing yield of 1.3% on the current share price of ₹581.3. Dividends are an important source of income to many shareholders, but the health of the business is crucial to maintaining those dividends. So we need to check whether the dividend payments are covered, and if earnings are growing.

See our latest analysis for Birla

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. Birla is paying out just 23% of its profit after tax, which is comfortably low and leaves plenty of breathing room in the case of adverse events. 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. Luckily it paid out just 7.8% of its free cash flow last year.

It's positive to see that Birla'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.

NSEI:BIRLACORPN Historical Dividend Yield, August 1st 2019

Have Earnings And Dividends Been Growing?

Stocks in companies that generate sustainable earnings growth often make the best dividend prospects, as it is easier to lift the dividend when earnings are rising. If earnings fall far enough, the company could be forced to cut its dividend. Fortunately for readers, Birla's earnings per share have been growing at 15% a year for the past five years. The company has managed to grow earnings at a rapid rate, while reinvesting most of the profits within the business. This will make it easier to fund future growth efforts and we think this is an attractive combination - plus the dividend can always be increased later.

Many investors will assess a company's dividend performance by evaluating how much the dividend payments have changed over time. In the last 10 years, Birla has lifted its dividend by approximately 5.2% a year on average. Earnings per share have been growing much quicker than dividends, potentially because Birla is keeping back more of its profits to grow the business.

The Bottom Line

Is Birla worth buying for its dividend? We love that Birla is growing earnings per share while simultaneously paying out a low percentage of both its earnings and cash flow. These characteristics suggest the company is reinvesting in growing its business, while the conservative payout ratio also implies a reduced risk of the dividend being cut in the future. It's a promising combination that should mark this company worthy of closer attention.

Wondering what the future holds for Birla? See what the five analysts we track are forecasting, with this visualisation of its historical and future estimated earnings and cash flow

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.

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.