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It looks like Snap-on Incorporated (NYSE:SNA) is about to go ex-dividend in the next 2 days. The ex-dividend date is usually set to be one business day before the record date which is the cut-off date on which you must be present on the company's books as a shareholder in order to receive the dividend. The ex-dividend date is important as the process of settlement involves two full business days. So if you miss that date, you would not show up on the company's books on the record date. Therefore, if you purchase Snap-on's shares on or after the 19th of August, you won't be eligible to receive the dividend, when it is paid on the 10th of September.
The company's next dividend payment will be US$1.23 per share. Last year, in total, the company distributed US$4.92 to shareholders. Calculating the last year's worth of payments shows that Snap-on has a trailing yield of 2.1% on the current share price of $230.14. If you buy this business for its dividend, you should have an idea of whether Snap-on's dividend is reliable and sustainable. So we need to check whether the dividend payments are covered, and if earnings are growing.
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. That's why it's good to see Snap-on paying out a modest 33% of its earnings. A useful secondary check can be to evaluate whether Snap-on generated enough free cash flow to afford its dividend. Fortunately, it paid out only 25% 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.
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. For this reason, we're glad to see Snap-on's earnings per share have risen 12% per annum over the last five years. Earnings per share are growing rapidly and the company is keeping more than half of its earnings within the business; an attractive combination which could suggest the company is focused on reinvesting to grow earnings further. Fast-growing businesses that are reinvesting heavily are enticing from a dividend perspective, especially since they can often increase the payout ratio later.
Many investors will assess a company's dividend performance by evaluating how much the dividend payments have changed over time. In the past 10 years, Snap-on has increased its dividend at approximately 14% a year on average. It's exciting to see that both earnings and dividends per share have grown rapidly over the past few years.
Has Snap-on got what it takes to maintain its dividend payments? Snap-on 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.
Ever wonder what the future holds for Snap-on? See what the eight 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.
This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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.
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