Readers hoping to buy DICK'S Sporting Goods, Inc. (NYSE:DKS) for its dividend will need to make their move shortly, as the stock is about to trade ex-dividend. The ex-dividend date occurs one day before the record date which is the day on which shareholders need to be on the company's books in order to receive a dividend. The ex-dividend date is of consequence because whenever a stock is bought or sold, the trade takes at least two business day to settle. This means that investors who purchase DICK'S Sporting Goods' shares on or after the 8th of September will not receive the dividend, which will be paid on the 30th of September.
The company's next dividend payment will be US$0.49 per share, and in the last 12 months, the company paid a total of US$1.95 per share. Calculating the last year's worth of payments shows that DICK'S Sporting Goods has a trailing yield of 1.8% on the current share price of $108.23. 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.
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. DICK'S Sporting Goods is paying out just 12% of its profit after tax, which is comfortably low and leaves plenty of breathing room in the case of adverse events. 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 41% of its free cash flow as dividends, a comfortable payout level for most companies.
It's positive to see that DICK'S Sporting Goods'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?
Companies with consistently growing earnings per share generally make the best dividend stocks, as they usually find it easier to grow dividends per share. If earnings fall far enough, the company could be forced to cut its dividend. It's encouraging to see DICK'S Sporting Goods has grown its earnings rapidly, up 43% a year for the past five years. DICK'S Sporting Goods is paying out less than half its earnings and cash flow, while simultaneously growing earnings per share at a rapid clip. Companies with growing earnings and low payout ratios are often the best long-term dividend stocks, as the company can both grow its earnings and increase the percentage of earnings that it pays out, essentially multiplying the dividend.
Another key way to measure a company's dividend prospects is by measuring its historical rate of dividend growth. It looks like the DICK'S Sporting Goods dividends are largely the same as they were 10 years ago.
The Bottom Line
Is DICK'S Sporting Goods an attractive dividend stock, or better left on the shelf? DICK'S Sporting Goods has grown its earnings per share while simultaneously reinvesting in the business. Unfortunately it's cut the dividend at least once in the past 10 years, but the conservative payout ratio makes the current dividend look sustainable. It's a promising combination that should mark this company worthy of closer attention.
In light of that, while DICK'S Sporting Goods has an appealing dividend, it's worth knowing the risks involved with this stock. Our analysis shows 3 warning signs for DICK'S Sporting Goods that we strongly recommend you have a look at before investing in the company.
Generally, we wouldn't recommend just buying the first dividend stock you see. Here's a curated list of interesting stocks that are strong dividend payers.
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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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