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Be Sure To Check Out Phillips 66 (NYSE:PSX) Before It Goes Ex-Dividend

Simply Wall St

Phillips 66 (NYSE:PSX) is about to trade ex-dividend in the next 4 days. This means that investors who purchase shares on or after the 19th of August will not receive the dividend, which will be paid on the 3rd of September.

Phillips 66's next dividend payment will be US$0.90 per share, on the back of last year when the company paid a total of US$3.60 to shareholders. Based on the last year's worth of payments, Phillips 66 has a trailing yield of 3.6% on the current stock price of $99.74. 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! That's why we should always check whether the dividend payments appear sustainable, and if the company is growing.

View our latest analysis for Phillips 66

If a company pays out more in dividends than it earned, then the dividend might become unsustainable - hardly an ideal situation. That's why it's good to see Phillips 66 paying out a modest 28% of its earnings. Yet cash flows are even more important than profits for assessing a dividend, so we need to see if the company generated enough cash to pay its distribution. Over the last year it paid out 56% of its free cash flow as dividends, within the usual range for most companies.

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.

NYSE:PSX Historical Dividend Yield, August 14th 2019

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 business enters a downturn and the dividend is cut, the company could see its value fall precipitously. Fortunately for readers, Phillips 66's earnings per share have been growing at 14% a year for the past five years. Phillips 66 is paying out a bit over half its earnings, which suggests the company is striking a balance between reinvesting in growth, and paying dividends. This is a reasonable combination that could hint at some further dividend increases in the future.

The main way most investors will assess a company's dividend prospects is by checking the historical rate of dividend growth. In the last 7 years, Phillips 66 has lifted its dividend by approximately 24% a year on average. It's exciting to see that both earnings and dividends per share have grown rapidly over the past few years.

Final Takeaway

Has Phillips 66 got what it takes to maintain its dividend payments? Earnings per share have grown at a nice rate in recent times and over the last year, Phillips 66 paid out less than half its earnings and a bit over half its free cash flow. It's a promising combination that should mark this company worthy of closer attention.

Wondering what the future holds for Phillips 66? See what the 12 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.

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.