Regular readers will know that we love our dividends at Simply Wall St, which is why it's exciting to see FirstCash, Inc. (NASDAQ:FCFS) is about to trade ex-dividend in the next 4 days. You will need to purchase shares before the 14th of August to receive the dividend, which will be paid on the 30th of August.
FirstCash's upcoming dividend is US$0.25 a share, following on from the last 12 months, when the company distributed a total of US$1.00 per share to shareholders. Based on the last year's worth of payments, FirstCash stock has a trailing yield of around 1.0% on the current share price of $100.32. Dividends are a major contributor to investment returns for long term holders, but only if the dividend continues to be paid. As a result, readers should always check whether FirstCash has been able to grow its dividends, or if the dividend might be cut.
If a company pays out more in dividends than it earned, then the dividend might become unsustainable - hardly an ideal situation. Fortunately FirstCash's payout ratio is modest, at just 27% of profit.
Companies that pay out less in dividends than they earn in profits generally have more sustainable dividends. The lower the payout ratio, the more wiggle room the business has before it could be forced to cut the 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 decline and the company is forced to cut its dividend, investors could watch the value of their investment go up in smoke. This is why it's a relief to see FirstCash earnings per share are up 4.4% per annum over the last five years.
Many investors will assess a company's dividend performance by evaluating how much the dividend payments have changed over time. FirstCash has delivered 19% dividend growth per year on average over the past 4 years. We're glad to see dividends rising alongside earnings over a number of years, which may be a sign the company intends to share the growth with shareholders.
Has FirstCash got what it takes to maintain its dividend payments? FirstCash has seen its earnings per share grow slowly in recent years, and the company reinvests more than half of its profits in the business, which generally bodes well for its future prospects. In summary, FirstCash appears to have some promise as a dividend stock, and we'd suggest taking a closer look at it.
Ever wonder what the future holds for FirstCash? See what the six analysts we track are forecasting, with this visualisation of its historical and future estimated earnings and cash flow
We wouldn't recommend just buying the first dividend stock you see, though. Here's a list of interesting 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.