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There's A Lot To Like About CIT Group Inc.'s (NYSE:CIT) Upcoming US$0.35 Dividend

Simply Wall St

CIT Group Inc. (NYSE:CIT) stock is about to trade ex-dividend in 4 days time. Investors can purchase shares before the 6th of February in order to be eligible for this dividend, which will be paid on the 21st of February.

CIT Group's next dividend payment will be US$0.35 per share, and in the last 12 months, the company paid a total of US$1.40 per share. Based on the last year's worth of payments, CIT Group has a trailing yield of 3.1% on the current stock price of $45.71. Dividends are a major contributor to investment returns for long term holders, but only if the dividend continues to be paid. So we need to check whether the dividend payments are covered, and if earnings are growing.

Check out our latest analysis for CIT 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. CIT Group paid out a comfortable 26% of its profit last year.

When a company paid out less in dividends than it earned in profit, this generally suggests its dividend is affordable. The lower the % of its profit that it pays out, the greater the margin of safety for the dividend if the business enters a downturn.

Click here to see the company's payout ratio, plus analyst estimates of its future dividends.

NYSE:CIT Historical Dividend Yield, February 1st 2020

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. Investors love dividends, so if earnings fall and the dividend is reduced, expect a stock to be sold off heavily at the same time. This is why it's a relief to see CIT Group earnings per share are up 8.1% per annum over the last five years.

Another key way to measure a company's dividend prospects is by measuring its historical rate of dividend growth. Since the start of our data, six years ago, CIT Group has lifted its dividend by approximately 23% a year on average. It's encouraging to see the company lifting dividends while earnings are growing, suggesting at least some corporate interest in rewarding shareholders.

The Bottom Line

Is CIT Group worth buying for its dividend? CIT Group has seen its earnings per share grow slowly in recent years, and the company reinvests more than half of its profits in the business, which generally bodes well for its future prospects. Overall, CIT Group looks like a promising dividend stock in this analysis, and we think it would be worth investigating further.

Ever wonder what the future holds for CIT Group? See what the six analysts we track are forecasting, with this visualisation of its historical and future estimated earnings and cash flow

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.

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.

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. Thank you for reading.