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Be Sure To Check Out Telekom Austria AG (VIE:TKA) Before It Goes Ex-Dividend

Simply Wall St

Some investors rely on dividends for growing their wealth, and if you're one of those dividend sleuths, you might be intrigued to know that Telekom Austria AG (VIE:TKA) is about to go ex-dividend in just 2 days. If you purchase the stock on or after the 28th of May, you won't be eligible to receive this dividend, when it is paid on the 2nd of June.

Telekom Austria's next dividend payment will be €0.23 per share, and in the last 12 months, the company paid a total of €0.23 per share. Based on the last year's worth of payments, Telekom Austria stock has a trailing yield of around 3.7% on the current share price of €6.24. 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 Telekom Austria has been able to grow its dividends, or if the dividend might be cut.

View our latest analysis for Telekom Austria

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. Telekom Austria paid out a comfortable 46% of its profit last year. 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. What's good is that dividends were well covered by free cash flow, with the company paying out 21% of its cash flow last 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 the company's payout ratio, plus analyst estimates of its future dividends.

WBAG:TKA Historical Dividend Yield May 25th 2020

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. Investors love dividends, so if earnings fall and the dividend is reduced, expect a stock to be sold off heavily at the same time. With that in mind, we're encouraged by the steady growth at Telekom Austria, with earnings per share up 6.0% on average over the last five years. Management have been reinvested more than half of the company's earnings within the business, and the company has been able to grow earnings with this retained capital. Organisations that reinvest heavily in themselves typically get stronger over time, which can bring attractive benefits such as stronger earnings and dividends.

Another key way to measure a company's dividend prospects is by measuring its historical rate of dividend growth. Telekom Austria's dividend payments per share have declined at 11% per year on average over the past ten years, which is uninspiring. It's unusual to see earnings per share increasing at the same time as dividends per share have been in decline. We'd hope it's because the company is reinvesting heavily in its business, but it could also suggest business is lumpy.

Final Takeaway

Should investors buy Telekom Austria for the upcoming dividend? Earnings per share growth has been growing somewhat, and Telekom Austria 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 Telekom Austria is halfway there. Overall we think this is an attractive combination and worthy of further research.

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 2 warning signs for Telekom Austria you should know about.

We wouldn't recommend just buying the first dividend stock you see, though. Here's a list of interesting dividend stocks with a greater than 2% yield and an upcoming dividend.

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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. 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. Thank you for reading.