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Be Sure To Check Out The Home Depot, Inc. (NYSE:HD) Before It Goes Ex-Dividend

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The Home Depot, Inc. (NYSE:HD) stock is about to trade ex-dividend in day or so. The ex-dividend date occurs one day before the record date which is the day on which shareholders need to be on the company's books in order to receive a 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. In other words, investors can purchase Home Depot's shares before the 2nd of June in order to be eligible for the dividend, which will be paid on the 17th of June.

The company's upcoming dividend is US$1.65 a share, following on from the last 12 months, when the company distributed a total of US$6.60 per share to shareholders. Looking at the last 12 months of distributions, Home Depot has a trailing yield of approximately 2.1% on its current stock price of $318.91. If you buy this business for its dividend, you should have an idea of whether Home Depot'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 Home Depot

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. That's why it's good to see Home Depot paying out a modest 46% of its earnings. That said, even highly profitable companies sometimes might not generate enough cash to pay the dividend, which is why we should always check if the dividend is covered by cash flow. Fortunately, it paid out only 39% 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.

historic-dividend
historic-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. It's encouraging to see Home Depot has grown its earnings rapidly, up 20% a year for the past five years. Earnings per share have been growing very quickly, and the company is paying out a relatively low percentage of its profit and cash flow. This is a very favourable combination that can often lead to the dividend multiplying over the long term, if earnings grow and the company pays out a higher percentage of its earnings.

The main way most investors will assess a company's dividend prospects is by checking the historical rate of dividend growth. Home Depot has delivered 21% dividend growth per year on average over the past 10 years. It's exciting to see that both earnings and dividends per share have grown rapidly over the past few years.

Final Takeaway

Should investors buy Home Depot for the upcoming dividend? Home Depot 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.

With that in mind, a critical part of thorough stock research is being aware of any risks that stock currently faces. In terms of investment risks, we've identified 1 warning sign with Home Depot and understanding them should be part of your investment process.

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.

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. 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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.