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Why You Might Be Interested In Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE:ANF) For Its Upcoming Dividend

Simply Wall St

Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE:ANF) stock is about to trade ex-dividend in 3 days time. Ex-dividend means that investors that purchase the stock on or after the 5th of September will not receive this dividend, which will be paid on the 16th of September.

Abercrombie & Fitch's upcoming dividend is US$0.20 a share, following on from the last 12 months, when the company distributed a total of US$0.80 per share to shareholders. Based on the last year's worth of payments, Abercrombie & Fitch has a trailing yield of 5.5% on the current stock price of $14.62. Dividends are a major contributor to investment returns for long term holders, but only if the dividend continues to be paid. That's why we should always check whether the dividend payments appear sustainable, and if the company is growing.

View our latest analysis for Abercrombie & Fitch

If a company pays out more in dividends than it earned, then the dividend might become unsustainable - hardly an ideal situation. Abercrombie & Fitch paid out more than half (75%) of its earnings last year, which is a regular payout ratio for most companies. 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 43% of the free cash flow it generated, which is a comfortable payout ratio.

It's positive to see that Abercrombie & Fitch'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.

NYSE:ANF Historical Dividend Yield, September 1st 2019

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. 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 Abercrombie & Fitch earnings per share are up 8.5% per annum over the last five years. While earnings have been growing at a credible rate, the company is paying out a majority of its earnings to shareholders. Therefore it's unlikely that the company will be able to reinvest heavily in its business, which could presage slower growth in the future.

Many investors will assess a company's dividend performance by evaluating how much the dividend payments have changed over time. In the past 10 years, Abercrombie & Fitch has increased its dividend at approximately 1.3% a year on average.

Final Takeaway

Has Abercrombie & Fitch got what it takes to maintain its dividend payments? Earnings per share growth has been modest and Abercrombie & Fitch paid out over half of its profits and less than half of its free cash flow, although both payout ratios are within normal limits. In summary, while it has some positive characteristics, we're not inclined to race out and buy Abercrombie & Fitch today.

Wondering what the future holds for Abercrombie & Fitch? See what the 13 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.

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.

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. Thank you for reading.