Heritage Foods Limited (NSE:HERITGFOOD) stock is about to trade ex-dividend in 3 days time. Ex-dividend means that investors that purchase the stock on or after the 21st of August will not receive this dividend, which will be paid on the 6th of September.
Heritage Foods's next dividend payment will be ₹2.00 per share, and in the last 12 months, the company paid a total of ₹2.00 per share. Calculating the last year's worth of payments shows that Heritage Foods has a trailing yield of 0.6% on the current share price of ₹346.5. 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.
Dividends are typically paid out of company income, so if a company pays out more than it earned, its dividend is usually at a higher risk of being cut. Heritage Foods has a low and conservative payout ratio of just 12% of its income after tax. That said, even highly profitable companies sometimes might not generate enough cash to pay the dividend, which is why we should always check if the dividend is covered by cash flow. Thankfully its dividend payments took up just 44% of the free cash flow it generated, which is a comfortable payout ratio.
It's positive to see that Heritage Foods'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.
Have Earnings And Dividends Been Growing?
Stocks in companies that generate sustainable earnings growth often make the best dividend prospects, as it is easier to lift the dividend when earnings are rising. If business enters a downturn and the dividend is cut, the company could see its value fall precipitously. Fortunately for readers, Heritage Foods's earnings per share have been growing at 12% a year for the past five years. Earnings per share have been growing rapidly and the company is retaining a majority of its earnings within the business. Fast-growing businesses that are reinvesting heavily are enticing from a dividend perspective, especially since they can often increase the payout ratio later.
Another key way to measure a company's dividend prospects is by measuring its historical rate of dividend growth. In the last 9 years, Heritage Foods has lifted its dividend by approximately 18% a year on average. It's exciting to see that both earnings and dividends per share have grown rapidly over the past few years.
The Bottom Line
Has Heritage Foods got what it takes to maintain its dividend payments? It's great that Heritage Foods is growing earnings per share while simultaneously paying out a low percentage of both its earnings and cash flow. It's disappointing to see the dividend has been cut at least once in the past, but as things stand now, the low payout ratio suggests a conservative approach to dividends, which we like. There's a lot to like about Heritage Foods, and we would prioritise taking a closer look at it.
Ever wonder what the future holds for Heritage Foods? See what the five 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.
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If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.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.