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Is It Smart To Buy CSX Corporation (NASDAQ:CSX) Before It Goes Ex-Dividend?

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Simply Wall St
·3 min read
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CSX Corporation (NASDAQ:CSX) is about to trade ex-dividend in the next 4 days. You will need to purchase shares before the 27th of November to receive the dividend, which will be paid on the 15th of December.

CSX's next dividend payment will be US$0.26 per share, and in the last 12 months, the company paid a total of US$1.04 per share. Based on the last year's worth of payments, CSX has a trailing yield of 1.1% on the current stock price of $91.54. If you buy this business for its dividend, you should have an idea of whether CSX's dividend is reliable and sustainable. So we need to investigate whether CSX can afford its dividend, and if the dividend could grow.

Check out our latest analysis for CSX

Dividends are typically paid out of company income, so if a company pays out more than it earned, its dividend is usually at a higher risk of being cut. CSX paid out a comfortable 28% of its profit last year. A useful secondary check can be to evaluate whether CSX generated enough free cash flow to afford its dividend. Thankfully its dividend payments took up just 31% of the free cash flow it generated, which is a comfortable payout ratio.

It's positive to see that CSX'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.

historic-dividend
historic-dividend

Have Earnings And Dividends Been Growing?

Businesses with strong growth prospects usually make the best dividend payers, because it's easier to grow dividends when earnings per share are improving. If earnings fall far enough, the company could be forced to cut its dividend. Fortunately for readers, CSX's earnings per share have been growing at 13% a year for the past five years. Earnings per share have been growing rapidly and the company is retaining a majority of its earnings within the business. Fast-growing businesses that are reinvesting heavily are enticing from a dividend perspective, especially since they can often increase the payout ratio later.

The main way most investors will assess a company's dividend prospects is by checking the historical rate of dividend growth. Since the start of our data, 10 years ago, CSX has lifted its dividend by approximately 13% a year on average. It's exciting to see that both earnings and dividends per share have grown rapidly over the past few years.

To Sum It Up

Is CSX an attractive dividend stock, or better left on the shelf? CSX has been growing earnings at a rapid rate, and has a conservatively low payout ratio, implying that it is reinvesting heavily in its business; a sterling combination. Overall we think this is an attractive combination and worthy of further research.

While it's tempting to invest in CSX for the dividends alone, you should always be mindful of the risks involved. Every company has risks, and we've spotted 2 warning signs for CSX you should know about.

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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team@simplywallst.com.