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Is It Smart To Buy Gujarat State Petronet Limited (NSE:GSPL) Before It Goes Ex-Dividend?

Simply Wall St

Regular readers will know that we love our dividends at Simply Wall St, which is why it's exciting to see Gujarat State Petronet Limited (NSE:GSPL) is about to trade ex-dividend in the next 3 days. You can purchase shares before the 12th of September in order to receive the dividend, which the company will pay on the 24th of October.

Gujarat State Petronet's next dividend payment will be ₹2.00 per share, and in the last 12 months, the company paid a total of ₹2.00 per share. Looking at the last 12 months of distributions, Gujarat State Petronet has a trailing yield of approximately 0.9% on its current stock price of ₹218.8. 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! We need to see whether the dividend is covered by earnings and if it's growing.

See our latest analysis for Gujarat State Petronet

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. Gujarat State Petronet is paying out just 10% of its profit after tax, which is comfortably low and leaves plenty of breathing room in the case of adverse events. Yet cash flows are even more important than profits for assessing a dividend, so we need to see if the company generated enough cash to pay its distribution. The good news is it paid out just 14% of its free cash flow in the last year.

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.

NSEI:GSPL Historical Dividend Yield, September 8th 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. Investors love dividends, so if earnings fall and the dividend is reduced, expect a stock to be sold off heavily at the same time. That's why it's comforting to see Gujarat State Petronet's earnings have been skyrocketing, up 22% per annum for the past five years. With earnings per share growing rapidly and the company sensibly reinvesting almost all of its profits within the business, Gujarat State Petronet looks like a promising growth company.

Many investors will assess a company's dividend performance by evaluating how much the dividend payments have changed over time. Since the start of our data, 10 years ago, Gujarat State Petronet has lifted its dividend by approximately 10% a year on average. It's great to see earnings per share growing rapidly over several years, and dividends per share growing right along with it.

To Sum It Up

Is Gujarat State Petronet worth buying for its dividend? We love that Gujarat State Petronet 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. There's a lot to like about Gujarat State Petronet, and we would prioritise taking a closer look at it.

Wondering what the future holds for Gujarat State Petronet? See what the 20 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.

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.