It looks like Schaffer Corporation Limited (ASX:SFC) is about to go ex-dividend in the next 3 days. This means that investors who purchase shares on or after the 5th of September will not receive the dividend, which will be paid on the 20th of September.
Schaffer's upcoming dividend is AU$0.40 a share, following on from the last 12 months, when the company distributed a total of AU$0.80 per share to shareholders. Looking at the last 12 months of distributions, Schaffer has a trailing yield of approximately 5.4% on its current stock price of A$14.81. If you buy this business for its dividend, you should have an idea of whether Schaffer's dividend is reliable and sustainable. So we need to investigate whether Schaffer can afford its dividend, and if the dividend could grow.
Dividends are usually paid out of company profits, so if a company pays out more than it earned then its dividend is usually at greater risk of being cut. That's why it's good to see Schaffer paying out a modest 42% of its earnings. 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. Fortunately, it paid out only 29% of its free cash flow in the past year.
It's positive to see that Schaffer'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?
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 business enters a downturn and the dividend is cut, the company could see its value fall precipitously. That's why it's comforting to see Schaffer's earnings have been skyrocketing, up 30% per annum for the past five years. Schaffer 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.
Many investors will assess a company's dividend performance by evaluating how much the dividend payments have changed over time. Since the start of our data, 10 years ago, Schaffer has lifted its dividend by approximately 4.8% a year on average. It's good to see both earnings and the dividend have improved - although the former has been rising much quicker than the latter, possibly due to the company reinvesting more of its profits in growth.
To Sum It Up
Should investors buy Schaffer for the upcoming dividend? It's great that Schaffer is growing earnings per share while simultaneously paying out a low percentage of both its earnings and cash flow. It's disappointing to see the dividend has been cut at least once in the past, but as things stand now, the low payout ratio suggests a conservative approach to dividends, which we like. It's a promising combination that should mark this company worthy of closer attention.
Want to learn more about Schaffer? Here's a visualisation of its historical rate of revenue and earnings growth.
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.
We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.com. 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.