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Why Dividend Hunters Love The Gorman-Rupp Company (NYSE:GRC)

Simply Wall St

Dividend paying stocks like The Gorman-Rupp Company (NYSE:GRC) tend to be popular with investors, and for good reason - some research suggests a significant amount of all stock market returns come from reinvested dividends. Yet sometimes, investors buy a popular dividend stock because of its yield, and then lose money if the company's dividend doesn't live up to expectations.

A slim 1.6% yield is hard to get excited about, but the long payment history is respectable. At the right price, or with strong growth opportunities, Gorman-Rupp could have potential. Some simple research can reduce the risk of buying Gorman-Rupp for its dividend - read on to learn more.

Click the interactive chart for our full dividend analysis

NYSE:GRC Historical Dividend Yield, January 11th 2020

Payout ratios

Companies (usually) pay dividends out of their earnings. If a company is paying more than it earns, the dividend might have to be cut. Comparing dividend payments to a company's net profit after tax is a simple way of reality-checking whether a dividend is sustainable. In the last year, Gorman-Rupp paid out 38% of its profit as dividends. This is a medium payout level that leaves enough capital in the business to fund opportunities that might arise, while also rewarding shareholders. Besides, if reinvestment opportunities dry up, the company has room to increase the dividend.

Another important check we do is to see if the free cash flow generated is sufficient to pay the dividend. Gorman-Rupp's cash payout ratio in the last year was 27%, which suggests dividends were well covered by cash generated by the business. 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.

With a strong net cash balance, Gorman-Rupp investors may not have much to worry about in the near term from a dividend perspective.

We update our data on Gorman-Rupp every 24 hours, so you can always get our latest analysis of its financial health, here.

Dividend Volatility

Before buying a stock for its income, we want to see if the dividends have been stable in the past, and if the company has a track record of maintaining its dividend. Gorman-Rupp has been paying dividends for a long time, but for the purpose of this analysis, we only examine the past 10 years of payments. During this period the dividend has been stable, which could imply the business could have relatively consistent earnings power. During the past ten-year period, the first annual payment was US$0.26 in 2010, compared to US$0.58 last year. Dividends per share have grown at approximately 8.5% per year over this time.

Businesses that can grow their dividends at a decent rate and maintain a stable payout can generate substantial wealth for shareholders over the long term.

Dividend Growth Potential

Dividend payments have been consistent over the past few years, but we should always check if earnings per share (EPS) are growing, as this will help maintain the purchasing power of the dividend. Earnings have grown at around 4.3% a year for the past five years, which is better than seeing them shrink! Gorman-Rupp is paying out less than half of its earnings, which we like. Earnings per share growth have grown slowly, which is not great, but if the retained earnings can be reinvested effectively, future growth may be stronger.

Conclusion

When we look at a dividend stock, we need to form a judgement on whether the dividend will grow, if the company is able to maintain it in a wide range of economic circumstances, and if the dividend payout is sustainable. Firstly, we like that Gorman-Rupp has low and conservative payout ratios. Earnings growth has been limited, but we like that the dividend payments have been fairly consistent. Gorman-Rupp performs highly under this analysis, although it falls slightly short of our exacting standards. At the right valuation, it could be a solid dividend prospect.

See if management have their own wealth at stake, by checking insider shareholdings in Gorman-Rupp stock.

Looking for more high-yielding dividend ideas? Try our curated list of dividend stocks with a yield above 3%.

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.