Hubbell Incorporated (NYSE:HUBB) stock is about to trade ex-dividend in 4 days time. Investors can purchase shares before the 29th of August in order to be eligible for this dividend, which will be paid on the 16th of September.
Hubbell's next dividend payment will be US$0.84 per share, on the back of last year when the company paid a total of US$3.36 to shareholders. Last year's total dividend payments show that Hubbell has a trailing yield of 2.7% on the current share price of $123.73. We love seeing companies pay a dividend, but it's also important to be sure that laying the golden eggs isn't going to kill our golden goose! So we need to check whether the dividend payments are covered, and if earnings are growing.
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 Hubbell paying out a modest 49% of its earnings. Yet cash flow is typically more important than profit for assessing dividend sustainability, so we should always check if the company generated enough cash to afford its dividend. Thankfully its dividend payments took up just 38% of the free cash flow it generated, which is a comfortable payout ratio.
It's positive to see that Hubbell's dividend is covered by both profits and cash flow, since this is generally a sign that the dividend is sustainable, and a lower payout ratio usually suggests a greater margin of safety before the dividend gets cut.
Have Earnings And Dividends Been Growing?
Stocks in companies that generate sustainable earnings growth often make the best dividend prospects, as it is easier to lift the dividend when earnings are rising. If business enters a downturn and the dividend is cut, the company could see its value fall precipitously. With that in mind, we're encouraged by the steady growth at Hubbell, with earnings per share up 4.2% on average over the last five years. Earnings per share growth in recent times has not been a standout. Yet there are several ways to grow the dividend, and one of them is simply that the company may choose to pay out more of its earnings as dividends.
Many investors will assess a company's dividend performance by evaluating how much the dividend payments have changed over time. Hubbell has delivered an average of 9.1% per year annual increase in its dividend, based on the past 10 years of dividend payments. It's encouraging to see the company lifting dividends while earnings are growing, suggesting at least some corporate interest in rewarding shareholders.
To Sum It Up
From a dividend perspective, should investors buy or avoid Hubbell? Earnings per share growth has been growing somewhat, and Hubbell is paying out less than half its earnings and cash flow as dividends. This is interesting for a few reasons, as it suggests management may be reinvesting heavily in the business, but it also provides room to increase the dividend in time. We would prefer to see earnings growing faster, but the best dividend stocks over the long term typically combine significant earnings per share growth with a low payout ratio, and Hubbell is halfway there. Hubbell looks solid on this analysis overall, and we'd definitely consider investigating it more closely.
Ever wonder what the future holds for Hubbell? See what the eight analysts we track are forecasting, with this visualisation of its historical and future estimated earnings and cash flow
A common investment mistake is buying the first interesting stock you see. Here you can find a list of promising dividend stocks with a greater than 2% yield and an upcoming dividend.
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