Tredegar Corporation (NYSE:TG) is about to trade ex-dividend in the next 4 days. If you purchase the stock on or after the 12th of September, you won't be eligible to receive this dividend, when it is paid on the 1st of October.
Tredegar's upcoming dividend is US$0.12 a share, following on from the last 12 months, when the company distributed a total of US$0.48 per share to shareholders. Based on the last year's worth of payments, Tredegar stock has a trailing yield of around 2.7% on the current share price of $17.82. If you buy this business for its dividend, you should have an idea of whether Tredegar's dividend is reliable and sustainable. We need to see whether the dividend is covered by earnings and if it's growing.
Dividends are typically paid from company earnings. If a company pays more in dividends than it earned in profit, then the dividend could be unsustainable. Tredegar paid out more than half (56%) of its earnings last year, which is a regular payout ratio for most companies. 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 33% of its free cash flow as dividends, a comfortable payout level for most companies.
It's encouraging to see that the dividend is covered by both profit and cash flow. This generally suggests the dividend is sustainable, as long as earnings don't drop precipitously.
Have Earnings And Dividends Been Growing?
When earnings decline, dividend companies become much harder to analyse and own safely. Investors love dividends, so if earnings fall and the dividend is reduced, expect a stock to be sold off heavily at the same time. Readers will understand then, why we're concerned to see Tredegar's earnings per share have dropped 6.7% a year over the past five years. Such a sharp decline casts doubt on the future sustainability of the dividend.
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, 10 years ago, Tredegar has lifted its dividend by approximately 12% a year on average. That's interesting, but the combination of a growing dividend despite declining earnings can typically only be achieved by paying out more of the company's profits. This can be valuable for shareholders, but it can't go on forever.
The Bottom Line
Is Tredegar worth buying for its dividend? The payout ratios are within a reasonable range, implying the dividend may be sustainable. Declining earnings are a serious concern, however, and could pose a threat to the dividend in future. Overall, it's not a bad combination, but we feel that there are likely more attractive dividend prospects out there.
Keen to explore more data on Tredegar's financial performance? Check out our visualisation of its historical revenue and earnings growth.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.