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Be Sure To Check Out Owens Corning (NYSE:OC) Before It Goes Ex-Dividend

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Regular readers will know that we love our dividends at Simply Wall St, which is why it's exciting to see Owens Corning (NYSE:OC) is about to trade ex-dividend in the next 2 days. This means that investors who purchase shares on or after the 15th of July will not receive the dividend, which will be paid on the 2nd of August.

Owens Corning's next dividend payment will be US$0.22 per share, on the back of last year when the company paid a total of US$0.88 to shareholders. Based on the last year's worth of payments, Owens Corning has a trailing yield of 1.6% on the current stock price of $55.29. Dividends are an important source of income to many shareholders, but the health of the business is crucial to maintaining those dividends. That's why we should always check whether the dividend payments appear sustainable, and if the company is growing.

See our latest analysis for Owens Corning

If a company pays out more in dividends than it earned, then the dividend might become unsustainable - hardly an ideal situation. Owens Corning is paying out just 19% of its profit after tax, which is comfortably low and leaves plenty of breathing room in the case of adverse events. 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. Thankfully its dividend payments took up just 45% of the free cash flow it generated, which is a comfortable payout ratio.

It's positive to see that Owens Corning'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.

Click here to see the company's payout ratio, plus analyst estimates of its future dividends.

NYSE:OC Historical Dividend Yield, July 12th 2019

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 earnings decline and the company is forced to cut its dividend, investors could watch the value of their investment go up in smoke. It's encouraging to see Owens Corning has grown its earnings rapidly, up 21% 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. Owens Corning has delivered an average of 6.6% per year annual increase in its dividend, based on the past 5 years of dividend payments. We're glad to see dividends rising alongside earnings over a number of years, which may be a sign the company intends to share the growth with shareholders.

The Bottom Line

Is Owens Corning an attractive dividend stock, or better left on the shelf? Owens Corning 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. It's a promising combination that should mark this company worthy of closer attention.

Curious what other investors think of Owens Corning? See what analysts 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.

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.

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. Thank you for reading.