U.S. Markets closed

Is Sonoco Products Company (NYSE:SON) A Smart Choice For Dividend Investors?

Ricardo Landis

Over the past 10 years Sonoco Products Company (NYSE:SON) has returned an average of 3.00% per year from dividend payouts. The company is currently worth US$5.63b, and now yields roughly 2.94%. Does Sonoco Products tick all the boxes of a great dividend stock? Below, I’ll take you through my analysis.

View our latest analysis for Sonoco Products

5 checks you should do on a dividend stock

Whenever I am looking at a potential dividend stock investment, I always check these five metrics:

  • Is it the top 25% annual dividend yield payer?
  • Has its dividend been stable over the past (i.e. no missed payments or significant payout cuts)?
  • Has dividend per share amount increased over the past?
  • Does earnings amply cover its dividend payments?
  • Will it be able to continue to payout at the current rate in the future?
NYSE:SON Historical Dividend Yield August 23rd 18

How does Sonoco Products fare?

The company currently pays out 65.55% of its earnings as a dividend, according to its trailing twelve-month data, which means that the dividend is covered by earnings. However, going forward, analysts expect SON’s payout to fall to 48.77% of its earnings, which leads to a dividend yield of 3.01%. However, EPS should increase to $3.36, meaning that the lower payout ratio does not necessarily implicate a lower dividend payment.

If dividend is a key criteria in your investment consideration, then you need to make sure the dividend stock you’re eyeing out is reliable in its payments. In the case of SON it has increased its DPS from $1.08 to $1.64 in the past 10 years. It has also been paying out dividend consistently during this time, as you’d expect for a company increasing its dividend levels. This is an impressive feat, which makes SON a true dividend rockstar.

In terms of its peers, Sonoco Products has a yield of 2.94%, which is high for Packaging stocks but still below the market’s top dividend payers.

Next Steps:

With these dividend metrics in mind, I definitely rank Sonoco Products as a strong income stock, and is worth further research for anyone who considers dividends an important part of their portfolio strategy. Given that this is purely a dividend analysis, I urge potential investors to try and get a good understanding of the underlying business and its fundamentals before deciding on an investment. There are three important aspects you should further examine:

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for SON’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for SON’s outlook.
  2. Valuation: What is SON worth today? Even if the stock is a cash cow, it’s not worth an infinite price. The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether SON is currently mispriced by the market.
  3. Other Dividend Rockstars: Are there better dividend payers with stronger fundamentals out there? Check out our free list of these great stocks here.

To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.

The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com.