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Readers hoping to buy Amphenol Corporation (NYSE:APH) for its dividend will need to make their move shortly, as the stock is about to trade ex-dividend. The ex-dividend date is usually set to be one business day before the record date which is the cut-off date on which you must be present on the company's books as a shareholder in order to receive the dividend. The ex-dividend date is an important date to be aware of as any purchase of the stock made on or after this date might mean a late settlement that doesn't show on the record date. Therefore, if you purchase Amphenol's shares on or after the 20th of September, you won't be eligible to receive the dividend, when it is paid on the 13th of October.
The company's upcoming dividend is US$0.14 a share, following on from the last 12 months, when the company distributed a total of US$0.58 per share to shareholders. Last year's total dividend payments show that Amphenol has a trailing yield of 0.8% on the current share price of $75.73. If you buy this business for its dividend, you should have an idea of whether Amphenol'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 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. Amphenol paid out just 24% of its profit last year, which we think is conservatively low and leaves plenty of margin for unexpected circumstances. 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 27% of the free cash flow it generated, which is a comfortable payout ratio.
It's positive to see that Amphenol'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?
Businesses with strong growth prospects usually make the best dividend payers, because it's easier to grow dividends when earnings per share are improving. If earnings decline and the company is forced to cut its dividend, investors could watch the value of their investment go up in smoke. For this reason, we're glad to see Amphenol's earnings per share have risen 14% per annum over the last five years. Earnings per share are growing rapidly and the company is keeping more than half of its earnings within the business; an attractive combination which could suggest the company is focused on reinvesting to grow earnings further. 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 10 years, Amphenol has lifted its dividend by approximately 44% a year on average. It's great to see earnings per share growing rapidly over several years, and dividends per share growing right along with it.
To Sum It Up
Is Amphenol an attractive dividend stock, or better left on the shelf? Amphenol has been growing earnings at a rapid rate, and has a conservatively low payout ratio, implying that it is reinvesting heavily in its business; a sterling combination. Amphenol looks solid on this analysis overall, and we'd definitely consider investigating it more closely.
With that in mind, a critical part of thorough stock research is being aware of any risks that stock currently faces. Every company has risks, and we've spotted 2 warning signs for Amphenol you should know about.
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. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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.
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