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Be Sure To Check Out Pets at Home Group Plc (LON:PETS) Before It Goes Ex-Dividend

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Pets at Home Group Plc (LON:PETS) is about to trade ex-dividend in the next four days. The ex-dividend date is one business day before the record date, which is the cut-off date for shareholders to be present on the company's books to be eligible for a dividend payment. The ex-dividend date is an important date to be aware of as any purchase of the stock made on or after this date might mean a late settlement that doesn't show on the record date. Thus, you can purchase at Home Group's shares before the 16th of June in order to receive the dividend, which the company will pay on the 12th of July.

The company's upcoming dividend is UK£0.075 a share, following on from the last 12 months, when the company distributed a total of UK£0.12 per share to shareholders. Last year's total dividend payments show that at Home Group has a trailing yield of 3.7% on the current share price of £3.202. If you buy this business for its dividend, you should have an idea of whether at Home Group's dividend is reliable and sustainable. So we need to investigate whether at Home Group can afford its dividend, and if the dividend could grow.

Check out our latest analysis for at Home Group

Dividends are usually paid out of company profits, so if a company pays out more than it earned then its dividend is usually at greater risk of being cut. at Home Group paid out a comfortable 47% of its profit last year. 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 25% 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.

historic-dividend
historic-dividend

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. If earnings fall far enough, the company could be forced to cut its dividend. Fortunately for readers, at Home Group's earnings per share have been growing at 10% a year for the past five years. The company has managed to grow earnings at a rapid rate, while reinvesting most of the profits within the business. Fast-growing businesses that are reinvesting heavily are enticing from a dividend perspective, especially since they can often increase the payout ratio later.

The main way most investors will assess a company's dividend prospects is by checking the historical rate of dividend growth. at Home Group has delivered an average of 16% per year annual increase in its dividend, based on the past eight years of dividend payments. Both per-share earnings and dividends have both been growing rapidly in recent times, which is great to see.

The Bottom Line

Is at Home Group worth buying for its dividend? We love that at Home Group 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. It's a promising combination that should mark this company worthy of closer attention.

With that in mind, a critical part of thorough stock research is being aware of any risks that stock currently faces. Every company has risks, and we've spotted 1 warning sign for at Home Group you should know about.

Generally, we wouldn't recommend just buying the first dividend stock you see. Here's a curated list of interesting stocks that are strong dividend payers.

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

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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.