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Be Sure To Check Out Collins Foods Limited (ASX:CKF) Before It Goes Ex-Dividend

Simply Wall St

Readers hoping to buy Collins Foods Limited (ASX:CKF) 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 5th of December in order to receive the dividend, which the company will pay on the 17th of December.

Collins Foods's next dividend payment will be AU$0.095 per share, on the back of last year when the company paid a total of AU$0.20 to shareholders. Based on the last year's worth of payments, Collins Foods stock has a trailing yield of around 1.9% on the current share price of A$10.3. If you buy this business for its dividend, you should have an idea of whether Collins Foods's dividend is reliable and sustainable. So we need to check whether the dividend payments are covered, and if earnings are growing.

Check out our latest analysis for Collins Foods

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. Collins Foods paid out more than half (61%) of its earnings last year, which is a regular payout ratio for most companies. 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. Thankfully its dividend payments took up just 41% of the free cash flow it generated, which is a comfortable payout ratio.

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.

ASX:CKF Historical Dividend Yield, November 30th 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. Investors love dividends, so if earnings fall and the dividend is reduced, expect a stock to be sold off heavily at the same time. For this reason, we're glad to see Collins Foods's earnings per share have risen 17% per annum over the last five years. Collins Foods is paying out a bit over half its earnings, which suggests the company is striking a balance between reinvesting in growth, and paying dividends. This is a reasonable combination that could hint at some further dividend increases in the future.

Another key way to measure a company's dividend prospects is by measuring its historical rate of dividend growth. In the past seven years, Collins Foods has increased its dividend at approximately 17% a year on average. It's exciting to see that both earnings and dividends per share have grown rapidly over the past few years.

Final Takeaway

Is Collins Foods an attractive dividend stock, or better left on the shelf? We like Collins Foods's growing earnings per share and the fact that - while its payout ratio is around average - it paid out a lower percentage of its cash flow. It's a promising combination that should mark this company worthy of closer attention.

Curious what other investors think of Collins Foods? See what analysts 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.

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.

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. Thank you for reading.