Tennant Company (NYSE:TNC) is about to trade ex-dividend in the next 3 days. This means that investors who purchase shares on or after the 29th of August will not receive the dividend, which will be paid on the 16th of September.
Tennant's next dividend payment will be US$0.22 per share, on the back of last year when the company paid a total of US$0.88 to shareholders. Last year's total dividend payments show that Tennant has a trailing yield of 1.3% on the current share price of $66.51. If you buy this business for its dividend, you should have an idea of whether Tennant's dividend is reliable and sustainable. We need to see whether the dividend is covered by earnings and if it's growing.
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 Tennant paying out a modest 42% of its earnings. 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. It paid out more than half (60%) of its free cash flow in the past year, which is within an average range for most companies.
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?
Companies that aren't growing their earnings can still be valuable, but it is even more important to assess the sustainability of the dividend if it looks like the company will struggle to grow. If business enters a downturn and the dividend is cut, the company could see its value fall precipitously. It's not encouraging to see that Tennant's earnings are effectively flat over the past five years. We'd take that over an earnings decline any day, but in the long run, the best dividend stocks all grow their earnings per share.
The main way most investors will assess a company's dividend prospects is by checking the historical rate of dividend growth. Tennant has delivered 5.4% dividend growth per year on average over the past 10 years.
From a dividend perspective, should investors buy or avoid Tennant? Its earnings per share are effectively flat in recent times. The company paid out less than half its income and more than half its cash flow as dividends to shareholders. Overall we're not hugely bearish on the stock, but there are likely better dividend investments out there.
Wondering what the future holds for Tennant? See what the two analysts we track 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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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.