Is It Smart To Buy Aon plc (NYSE:AON) Before It Goes Ex-Dividend?

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 Aon plc (NYSE:AON) is about to go ex-dividend in just 4 days. You can purchase shares before the 31st of July in order to receive the dividend, which the company will pay on the 15th of August.

Aon’s upcoming dividend is US$0.44 a share, following on from the last 12 months, when the company distributed a total of US$1.76 per share to shareholders. Last year’s total dividend payments show that Aon has a trailing yield of 0.9% on the current share price of $196.85. Dividends are an important source of income to many shareholders, but the health of the business is crucial to maintaining those dividends. That’s why we should always check whether the dividend payments appear sustainable, and if the company is growing.

Check out our latest analysis for Aon

Dividends are typically paid from company earnings. If a company pays more in dividends than it earned in profit, then the dividend could be unsustainable. Aon paid out a comfortable 34% of its profit last year.

Companies that pay out less in dividends than they earn in profits generally have more sustainable dividends. The lower the payout ratio, the more wiggle room the business has before it could be forced to cut the dividend.

Click here to see the company’s payout ratio, plus analyst estimates of its future dividends.

NYSE:AON Historical Dividend Yield, July 26th 2019
NYSE:AON Historical Dividend Yield, July 26th 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 fall far enough, the company could be forced to cut its dividend. This is why it’s a relief to see Aon earnings per share are up 5.4% 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. Aon has delivered 11% dividend growth per year on average over the past 10 years. It’s encouraging to see the company lifting dividends while earnings are growing, suggesting at least some corporate interest in rewarding shareholders.

To Sum It Up

Is Aon worth buying for its dividend? Aon has seen its earnings per share grow slowly in recent years, and the company reinvests more than half of its profits in the business, which generally bodes well for its future prospects. Aon 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.

Curious what other investors think of Aon? See what analysts are forecasting, with this visualisation of its historical and future estimated earnings and cash flow .

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.

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.