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There's A Lot To Like About RMR Group's (NASDAQ:RMR) Upcoming US$0.38 Dividend

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Regular readers will know that we love our dividends at Simply Wall St, which is why it's exciting to see The RMR Group Inc. (NASDAQ:RMR) is about to trade ex-dividend in the next four days. Investors can purchase shares before the 23rd of April in order to be eligible for this dividend, which will be paid on the 20th of May.

RMR Group's next dividend payment will be US$0.38 per share, on the back of last year when the company paid a total of US$1.52 to shareholders. Last year's total dividend payments show that RMR Group has a trailing yield of 3.7% on the current share price of $40.63. If you buy this business for its dividend, you should have an idea of whether RMR Group's dividend is reliable and sustainable. As a result, readers should always check whether RMR Group has been able to grow its dividends, or if the dividend might be cut.

View our latest analysis for RMR Group

If a company pays out more in dividends than it earned, then the dividend might become unsustainable - hardly an ideal situation. It paid out 88% of its earnings as dividends last year, which is not unreasonable, but limits reinvestment in the business and leaves the dividend vulnerable to a business downturn. We'd be concerned if earnings began to decline. 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. Thankfully its dividend payments took up just 40% of the free cash flow it generated, which is a comfortable payout ratio.

It's positive to see that RMR Group'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.

historic-dividend
historic-dividend

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 earnings decline and the company is forced to cut its dividend, investors could watch the value of their investment go up in smoke. It's encouraging to see RMR Group has grown its earnings rapidly, up 31% a year for the past five years. Earnings per share are growing at a rapid rate, yet the company is paying out more than three-quarters of its earnings.

Another key way to measure a company's dividend prospects is by measuring its historical rate of dividend growth. RMR Group has delivered 8.7% dividend growth per year on average over the past five years. We're glad to see dividends rising alongside earnings over a number of years, which may be a sign the company intends to share the growth with shareholders.

Final Takeaway

From a dividend perspective, should investors buy or avoid RMR Group? RMR Group's growing earnings per share and conservative payout ratios make for a decent combination. We also like that it paid out a lower percentage of its cash flow. It's a promising combination that should mark this company worthy of closer attention.

While it's tempting to invest in RMR Group for the dividends alone, you should always be mindful of the risks involved. In terms of investment risks, we've identified 1 warning sign with RMR Group and understanding them should be part of your investment process.

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.

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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.