Lamb Weston Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:LW) stock is about to trade ex-dividend in 4 days time. You will need to purchase shares before the 1st of August to receive the dividend, which will be paid on the 30th of August.
Lamb Weston Holdings's next dividend payment will be US$0.20 per share, on the back of last year when the company paid a total of US$0.80 to shareholders. Based on the last year's worth of payments, Lamb Weston Holdings stock has a trailing yield of around 1.2% on the current share price of $64.68. 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.
If a company pays out more in dividends than it earned, then the dividend might become unsustainable - hardly an ideal situation. Lamb Weston Holdings has a low and conservative payout ratio of just 25% of its income after tax. 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. Fortunately, it paid out only 33% of its free cash flow in the past year.
It's positive to see that Lamb Weston Holdings'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. Investors love dividends, so if earnings fall and the dividend is reduced, expect a stock to be sold off heavily at the same time. For this reason, we're glad to see Lamb Weston Holdings's earnings per share have risen 18% per annum over the last five years. The company has managed to grow earnings at a rapid rate, while reinvesting most of the profits within the business. Fast-growing businesses that are reinvesting heavily are enticing from a dividend perspective, especially since they can often increase the payout ratio 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 3 years, Lamb Weston Holdings has lifted its dividend by approximately 2.2% a year on average. Earnings per share have been growing much quicker than dividends, potentially because Lamb Weston Holdings is keeping back more of its profits to grow the business.
The Bottom Line
Has Lamb Weston Holdings got what it takes to maintain its dividend payments? Lamb Weston Holdings 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. Overall we think this is an attractive combination and worthy of further research.
Curious what other investors think of Lamb Weston Holdings? See what analysts 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.
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If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.