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Worthington Industries, Inc. (NYSE:WOR) Looks Interesting, And It's About To Pay A Dividend

Simply Wall St

Some investors rely on dividends for growing their wealth, and if you're one of those dividend sleuths, you might be intrigued to know that Worthington Industries, Inc. (NYSE:WOR) is about to go ex-dividend in just 4 days. You can purchase shares before the 12th of September in order to receive the dividend, which the company will pay on the 27th of September.

Worthington Industries's upcoming dividend is US$0.24 a share, following on from the last 12 months, when the company distributed a total of US$0.96 per share to shareholders. Looking at the last 12 months of distributions, Worthington Industries has a trailing yield of approximately 2.7% on its current stock price of $35.43. 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.

View our latest analysis for Worthington Industries

If a company pays out more in dividends than it earned, then the dividend might become unsustainable - hardly an ideal situation. That's why it's good to see Worthington Industries paying out a modest 34% of its earnings. A useful secondary check can be to evaluate whether Worthington Industries generated enough free cash flow to afford its dividend. It distributed 46% of its free cash flow as dividends, a comfortable payout level 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.

Click here to see how much of its profit Worthington Industries paid out over the last 12 months.

NYSE:WOR Historical Dividend Yield, September 7th 2019

Have Earnings And Dividends Been Growing?

Businesses with strong growth prospects usually make the best dividend payers, because it's easier to grow dividends when earnings per share are improving. If earnings decline and the company is forced to cut its dividend, investors could watch the value of their investment go up in smoke. This is why it's a relief to see Worthington Industries earnings per share are up 4.1% per annum over the last five years. Recent earnings growth has been limited. However, companies that see their growth slow can often choose to pay out a greater percentage of earnings to shareholders, which could see the dividend continue to rise.

The main way most investors will assess a company's dividend prospects is by checking the historical rate of dividend growth. Worthington Industries has delivered an average of 3.5% per year annual increase in its dividend, based on the past 10 years of dividend payments. We're glad to see dividends rising alongside earnings over a number of years, which may be a sign the company intends to share the growth with shareholders.

Final Takeaway

Is Worthington Industries an attractive dividend stock, or better left on the shelf? Earnings per share have been growing moderately, and Worthington Industries is paying out less than half its earnings and cash flow as dividends, which is an attractive combination as it suggests the company is investing in growth. We would prefer to see earnings growing faster, but the best dividend stocks over the long term typically combine significant earnings per share growth with a low payout ratio, and Worthington Industries is halfway there. Worthington Industries looks solid on this analysis overall, and we'd definitely consider investigating it more closely.

Want to learn more about Worthington Industries's dividend performance? Check out this visualisation of its historical 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 editorial-team@simplywallst.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.