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 CompX International Inc. (NYSEMKT:CIX) is about to go ex-dividend in just 3 days. You will need to purchase shares before the 6th of March to receive the dividend, which will be paid on the 19th of March.
CompX International’s next dividend payment will be US$0.10 per share, on the back of last year when the company paid a total of US$0.40 to shareholders. Based on the last year’s worth of payments, CompX International stock has a trailing yield of around 2.9% on the current share price of $13.82. If you buy this business for its dividend, you should have an idea of whether CompX International’s dividend is reliable and sustainable. We need to see whether the dividend is covered by earnings and if it’s growing.
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. CompX International paid out just 22% of its profit last year, which we think is conservatively low and leaves plenty of margin for unexpected circumstances. 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. Luckily it paid out just 23% of its free cash flow last year.
It’s positive to see that CompX International’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?
Companies with consistently growing earnings per share generally make the best dividend stocks, as they usually find it easier to grow dividends per share. If earnings decline and the company is forced to cut its dividend, investors could watch the value of their investment go up in smoke. Fortunately for readers, CompX International’s earnings per share have been growing at 13% a year for the past five years. Earnings per share have been growing rapidly and the company is retaining a majority of its earnings within the business. 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. CompX International has seen its dividend decline 2.2% per annum on average over the past ten years, which is not great to see. It’s unusual to see earnings per share increasing at the same time as dividends per share have been in decline. We’d hope it’s because the company is reinvesting heavily in its business, but it could also suggest business is lumpy.
The Bottom Line
Should investors buy CompX International for the upcoming dividend? CompX International has grown its earnings per share while simultaneously reinvesting in the business. Unfortunately it’s cut the dividend at least once in the past ten years, but the conservative payout ratio makes the current dividend look sustainable. CompX International looks solid on this analysis overall, and we’d definitely consider investigating it more closely.
Keen to explore more data on CompX International’s financial performance? Check out our visualisation of its historical revenue and earnings growth.
If you’re in the market for dividend stocks, we recommend checking our list of top dividend stocks with a greater than 2% yield and an upcoming dividend.
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.
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