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There's A Lot To Like About Astec Industries' (NASDAQ:ASTE) Upcoming US$0.11 Dividend

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Astec Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASTE) stock is about to trade ex-dividend in four days. Typically, the ex-dividend date is one business day before the record date which is the date on which a company determines the shareholders eligible to receive a dividend. It is important to be aware of the ex-dividend date because any trade on the stock needs to have been settled on or before the record date. Therefore, if you purchase Astec Industries' shares on or after the 10th of August, you won't be eligible to receive the dividend, when it is paid on the 31st of August.

The company's next dividend payment will be US$0.11 per share. Last year, in total, the company distributed US$0.44 to shareholders. Based on the last year's worth of payments, Astec Industries stock has a trailing yield of around 0.7% on the current share price of $59.41. If you buy this business for its dividend, you should have an idea of whether Astec Industries's dividend is reliable and sustainable. We need to see whether the dividend is covered by earnings and if it's growing.

Check out our latest analysis for Astec Industries

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 Astec Industries 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. The good news is it paid out just 7.3% of its free cash flow in the last year.

It's positive to see that Astec Industries'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.

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historic-dividend

Have Earnings And Dividends Been Growing?

Stocks with flat earnings can still be attractive dividend payers, but it is important to be more conservative with your approach and demand a greater margin for safety when it comes to dividend sustainability. Investors love dividends, so if earnings fall and the dividend is reduced, expect a stock to be sold off heavily at the same time. It's not encouraging to see that Astec Industries's earnings are effectively flat over the past five years. It's better than seeing them drop, certainly, but over the long term, all of the best dividend stocks are able to meaningfully grow their earnings per share. Recent growth has not been impressive. However, companies that see their growth slow can often choose to pay out a greater percentage of earnings to shareholders, which could see the dividend continue to rise.

Many investors will assess a company's dividend performance by evaluating how much the dividend payments have changed over time. Since the start of our data, eight years ago, Astec Industries has lifted its dividend by approximately 1.2% a year on average.

To Sum It Up

Should investors buy Astec Industries for the upcoming dividend? The company has barely grown earnings per share over this time, but at least it's paying out a decently low percentage of its earnings and cashflow as dividends. This could suggest management is reinvesting in future growth opportunities. Generally we like to see both low payout ratios and strong earnings per share growth, but Astec Industries is halfway there. There's a lot to like about Astec Industries, and we would prioritise taking a closer look at it.

So while Astec Industries looks good from a dividend perspective, it's always worthwhile being up to date with the risks involved in this stock. To help with this, we've discovered 1 warning sign for Astec Industries that you should be aware of before investing in their shares.

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.

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.

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