Readers hoping to buy American National Insurance Company (NASDAQ:ANAT) for its dividend will need to make their move shortly, as the stock is about to trade ex-dividend. You can purchase shares before the 9th of September in order to receive the dividend, which the company will pay on the 20th of September.
American National Insurance's next dividend payment will be US$0.82 per share. Last year, in total, the company distributed US$3.28 to shareholders. Based on the last year's worth of payments, American National Insurance has a trailing yield of 2.8% on the current stock price of $118.01. Dividends are an important source of income to many shareholders, but the health of the business is crucial to maintaining those dividends. So we need to investigate whether American National Insurance can afford its dividend, and if the dividend could grow.
Dividends are typically paid from company earnings. If a company pays more in dividends than it earned in profit, then the dividend could be unsustainable. American National Insurance paid out just 21% of its profit last year, which we think is conservatively low and leaves plenty of margin for unexpected circumstances.
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?
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. With that in mind, we're encouraged by the steady growth at American National Insurance, with earnings per share up 9.1% on average 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. American National Insurance has delivered an average of 0.6% per year annual increase in its dividend, based on the past 10 years of dividend payments.
Should investors buy American National Insurance for the upcoming dividend? It has been growing its earnings per share somewhat in recent years, although it reinvests more than half its earnings in the business, which could suggest there are some growth projects that have not yet reached fruition. American National Insurance ticks a lot of boxes for us from a dividend perspective, and we think these characteristics should mark the company as deserving of further attention.
Want to learn more about American National Insurance's dividend performance? Check out this visualisation of its historical revenue and earnings growth.
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.
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