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Be Sure To Check Out Weichai Power Co., Ltd. (HKG:2338) Before It Goes Ex-Dividend

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Simply Wall St
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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 Weichai Power Co., Ltd. (HKG:2338) is about to go ex-dividend in just 2 days. You will need to purchase shares before the 26th of September to receive the dividend, which will be paid on the 25th of October.

Weichai Power's upcoming dividend is HK$0.2 a share, following on from the last 12 months, when the company distributed a total of HK$0.5 per share to shareholders. Based on the last year's worth of payments, Weichai Power stock has a trailing yield of around 4.2% on the current share price of HK$12.04. If you buy this business for its dividend, you should have an idea of whether Weichai Power's dividend is reliable and sustainable. That's why we should always check whether the dividend payments appear sustainable, and if the company is growing.

Check out our latest analysis for Weichai Power

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. Weichai Power paid out a comfortable 36% 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. It distributed 28% of its free cash flow as dividends, a comfortable payout level for most companies.

It's positive to see that Weichai Power'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.

SEHK:2338 Historical Dividend Yield, September 23rd 2019
SEHK:2338 Historical Dividend Yield, September 23rd 2019

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. It's encouraging to see Weichai Power has grown its earnings rapidly, up 22% 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. Companies with growing earnings and low payout ratios are often the best long-term dividend stocks, as the company can both grow its earnings and increase the percentage of earnings that it pays out, essentially multiplying the dividend.

Another key way to measure a company's dividend prospects is by measuring its historical rate of dividend growth. In the last ten years, Weichai Power has lifted its dividend by approximately 42% 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

Should investors buy Weichai Power for the upcoming dividend? Weichai Power has grown its earnings per share while simultaneously reinvesting in the business. Unfortunately it's cut the dividend at least once in the past ten years, but the conservative payout ratio makes the current dividend look sustainable. Overall we think this is an attractive combination and worthy of further research.

Curious what other investors think of Weichai Power? See what analysts are forecasting, with this visualisation of its historical and future estimated earnings and cash flow.

If you're in the market for dividend stocks, we recommend checking our list of top 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.