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Why You Might Be Interested In Cummins Inc. (NYSE:CMI) For Its Upcoming 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 Cummins Inc. (NYSE:CMI) is about to trade ex-dividend in the next 3 days. Typically, the ex-dividend date is one business day before the record date which is the date on which a company determines the shareholders eligible to receive a 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. Thus, you can purchase Cummins' shares before the 19th of August in order to receive the dividend, which the company will pay on the 2nd of September.

The company's next dividend payment will be US$1.45 per share, and in the last 12 months, the company paid a total of US$5.80 per share. Looking at the last 12 months of distributions, Cummins has a trailing yield of approximately 2.4% on its current stock price of $237.72. Dividends are an important source of income to many shareholders, but the health of the business is crucial to maintaining those dividends. That's why we should always check whether the dividend payments appear sustainable, and if the company is growing.

View our latest analysis for Cummins

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. Fortunately Cummins's payout ratio is modest, at just 36% of profit. Yet cash flow is typically more important than profit for assessing dividend sustainability, so we should always check if the company generated enough cash to afford its dividend. It distributed 29% of its free cash flow as dividends, a comfortable payout level for most companies.

It's positive to see that Cummins'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?

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 fall far enough, the company could be forced to cut its dividend. For this reason, we're glad to see Cummins's earnings per share have risen 14% per annum over the last five years. Earnings per share have been growing rapidly and the company is retaining a majority of its earnings within the business. This will make it easier to fund future growth efforts and we think this is an attractive combination - plus the dividend can always be increased later.

The main way most investors will assess a company's dividend prospects is by checking the historical rate of dividend growth. In the last 10 years, Cummins has lifted its dividend by approximately 19% a year on average. Both per-share earnings and dividends have both been growing rapidly in recent times, which is great to see.

The Bottom Line

Is Cummins worth buying for its dividend? We love that Cummins is growing earnings per share while simultaneously paying out a low percentage of both its earnings and cash flow. These characteristics suggest the company is reinvesting in growing its business, while the conservative payout ratio also implies a reduced risk of the dividend being cut in the future. It's a promising combination that should mark this company worthy of closer attention.

With that in mind, a critical part of thorough stock research is being aware of any risks that stock currently faces. Case in point: We've spotted 1 warning sign for Cummins you should be aware of.

We wouldn't recommend just buying the first dividend stock you see, though. Here's a list of interesting 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.

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