Robert Half International Inc. (NYSE:RHI) is about to trade ex-dividend in the next 2 days. This means that investors who purchase shares on or after the 22nd of August will not receive the dividend, which will be paid on the 16th of September.
Robert Half International's next dividend payment will be US$0.31 per share, on the back of last year when the company paid a total of US$1.24 to shareholders. Based on the last year's worth of payments, Robert Half International has a trailing yield of 2.3% on the current stock price of $55.04. We love seeing companies pay a dividend, but it's also important to be sure that laying the golden eggs isn't going to kill our golden goose! 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. Fortunately Robert Half International's payout ratio is modest, at just 31% of profit. 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. Fortunately, it paid out only 28% of its free cash flow in the past year.
It's encouraging to see that the dividend is covered by both profit and cash flow. This generally suggests the dividend is sustainable, as long as earnings don't drop precipitously.
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. If earnings fall far enough, the company could be forced to cut its dividend. Fortunately for readers, Robert Half International's earnings per share have been growing at 16% a year for the past 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.
The main way most investors will assess a company's dividend prospects is by checking the historical rate of dividend growth. Since the start of our data, 10 years ago, Robert Half International has lifted its dividend by approximately 11% 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.
Should investors buy Robert Half International for the upcoming dividend? Robert Half International 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. It's a promising combination that should mark this company worthy of closer attention.
Curious what other investors think of Robert Half International? See what analysts are forecasting, with this visualisation of its historical and future estimated earnings and cash flow .
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.
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