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Be Sure To Check Out Oil-Dri Corporation of America (NYSE:ODC) Before It Goes Ex-Dividend

Simply Wall St

Oil-Dri Corporation of America (NYSE:ODC) is about to trade ex-dividend in the next 4 days. You can purchase shares before the 13th of February in order to receive the dividend, which the company will pay on the 28th of February.

Oil-Dri Corporation of America's next dividend payment will be US$0.25 per share. Last year, in total, the company distributed US$1.00 to shareholders. Last year's total dividend payments show that Oil-Dri Corporation of America has a trailing yield of 2.8% on the current share price of $35.74. 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! As a result, readers should always check whether Oil-Dri Corporation of America has been able to grow its dividends, or if the dividend might be cut.

View our latest analysis for Oil-Dri Corporation of America

If a company pays out more in dividends than it earned, then the dividend might become unsustainable - hardly an ideal situation. Fortunately Oil-Dri Corporation of America's payout ratio is modest, at just 48% of profit. A useful secondary check can be to evaluate whether Oil-Dri Corporation of America generated enough free cash flow to afford its dividend. Fortunately, it paid out only 38% 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 how much of its profit Oil-Dri Corporation of America paid out over the last 12 months.

NYSE:ODC Historical Dividend Yield, February 8th 2020

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. If earnings decline and the company is forced to cut its dividend, investors could watch the value of their investment go up in smoke. For this reason, we're glad to see Oil-Dri Corporation of America's earnings per share have risen 12% per annum over the last five years. Earnings per share are growing rapidly and the company is keeping more than half of its earnings within the business; an attractive combination which could suggest the company is focused on reinvesting to grow earnings further. Fast-growing businesses that are reinvesting heavily are enticing from a dividend perspective, especially since they can often increase the payout ratio later.

Many investors will assess a company's dividend performance by evaluating how much the dividend payments have changed over time. In the last ten years, Oil-Dri Corporation of America has lifted its dividend by approximately 6.0% a year on average. It's good to see both earnings and the dividend have improved - although the former has been rising much quicker than the latter, possibly due to the company reinvesting more of its profits in growth.

Final Takeaway

Is Oil-Dri Corporation of America worth buying for its dividend? We love that Oil-Dri Corporation of America is growing earnings per share while simultaneously paying out a low percentage of both its earnings and cash flow. These characteristics suggest the company is reinvesting in growing its business, while the conservative payout ratio also implies a reduced risk of the dividend being cut in the future. Overall we think this is an attractive combination and worthy of further research.

Want to learn more about Oil-Dri Corporation of America's dividend performance? Check out this visualisation of its historical revenue and earnings growth.

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.

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.