Readers hoping to buy American Financial Group, Inc. (NYSE:AFG) for its dividend will need to make their move shortly, as the stock is about to trade ex-dividend. You can purchase shares before the 14th of April in order to receive the dividend, which the company will pay on the 27th of April.
American Financial Group’s next dividend payment will be US$0.45 per share, and in the last 12 months, the company paid a total of US$3.30 per share. Looking at the last 12 months of distributions, American Financial Group has a trailing yield of approximately 4.1% on its current stock price of $80.49. Dividends are a major contributor to investment returns for long term holders, but only if the dividend continues to be paid. So we need to investigate whether American Financial Group can afford its dividend, and if the dividend could grow.
Dividends are typically paid out of company income, so if a company pays out more than it earned, its dividend is usually at a higher risk of being cut. American Financial Group paid out just 17% of its profit last year, which we think is conservatively low and leaves plenty of margin for unexpected circumstances.
When a company paid out less in dividends than it earned in profit, this generally suggests its dividend is affordable. The lower the % of its profit that it pays out, the greater the margin of safety for the dividend if the business enters a downturn.
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 American Financial Group’s earnings per share have risen 14% per annum over the last five years.
Another key way to measure a company’s dividend prospects is by measuring its historical rate of dividend growth. In the past ten years, American Financial Group has increased its dividend at approximately 20% a year on average. It’s exciting to see that both earnings and dividends per share have grown rapidly over the past few years.
The Bottom Line
Is American Financial Group worth buying for its dividend? Companies like American Financial Group that are growing rapidly and paying out a low fraction of earnings, are usually reinvesting heavily in their business. This strategy can add significant value to shareholders over the long term – as long as it’s done without issuing too many new shares. American Financial Group ticks a lot of boxes for us from a dividend perspective, and we think these characteristics should mark the company as deserving of further attention.
So while American Financial Group looks good from a dividend perspective, it’s always worthwhile being up to date with the risks involved in this stock. Be aware that American Financial Group is showing 3 warning signs in our investment analysis, and 1 of those is significant…
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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