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Is It Smart To Buy Jack Henry & Associates, Inc. (NASDAQ:JKHY) Before It Goes Ex-Dividend?

Simply Wall St

Jack Henry & Associates, Inc. (NASDAQ:JKHY) stock is about to trade ex-dividend in 4 days time. You can purchase shares before the 6th of September in order to receive the dividend, which the company will pay on the 30th of September.

Jack Henry & Associates's next dividend payment will be US$0.40 per share, on the back of last year when the company paid a total of US$1.60 to shareholders. Based on the last year's worth of payments, Jack Henry & Associates has a trailing yield of 1.1% on the current stock price of $144.96. Dividends are a major contributor to investment returns for long term holders, but only if the dividend continues to be paid. That's why we should always check whether the dividend payments appear sustainable, and if the company is growing.

View our latest analysis for Jack Henry & Associates

Dividends are usually paid out of company profits, so if a company pays out more than it earned then its dividend is usually at greater risk of being cut. Jack Henry & Associates paid out a comfortable 44% of its profit last year. 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. Fortunately, it paid out only 46% of its free cash flow in the past 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.

NasdaqGS:JKHY Historical Dividend Yield, September 1st 2019

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 business enters a downturn and the dividend is cut, the company could see its value fall precipitously. This is why it's a relief to see Jack Henry & Associates earnings per share are up 9.9% per annum over the last five years. The company is retaining more than half of its earnings within the business, and it has been growing earnings at a decent rate. We think this is generally an attractive combination, as dividends can grow through a combination of earnings growth and or a higher payout ratio over time.

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, Jack Henry & Associates has lifted its dividend by approximately 18% a year on average. 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.

The Bottom Line

Is Jack Henry & Associates an attractive dividend stock, or better left on the shelf? Earnings per share growth has been growing somewhat, and Jack Henry & Associates is paying out less than half its earnings and cash flow as dividends. This is interesting for a few reasons, as it suggests management may be reinvesting heavily in the business, but it also provides room to increase the dividend in time. It might be nice to see earnings growing faster, but Jack Henry & Associates is being conservative with its dividend payouts and could still perform reasonably over the long run. Overall we think this is an attractive combination and worthy of further research.

Curious what other investors think of Jack Henry & Associates? See what analysts are forecasting, with this visualisation of its historical and future estimated earnings and cash flow .

If you're in the market for dividend stocks, we recommend checking our list of top 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.