It looks like Masco Corporation (NYSE:MAS) is about to go ex-dividend in the next 4 days. You will need to purchase shares before the 10th of October to receive the dividend, which will be paid on the 12th of November.
Masco’s next dividend payment will be US$0.1 per share. Last year, in total, the company distributed US$0.5 to shareholders. Looking at the last 12 months of distributions, Masco has a trailing yield of approximately 1.1% on its current stock price of $42.51. 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! As a result, readers should always check whether Masco has been able to grow its dividends, or if the dividend might be cut.
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. Masco is paying out just 20% of its profit after tax, which is comfortably low and leaves plenty of breathing room in the case of adverse events. 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 18% of its free cash flow last year.
It’s positive to see that Masco’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 business enters a downturn and the dividend is cut, the company could see its value fall precipitously. That’s why it’s comforting to see Masco’s earnings have been skyrocketing, up 28% per annum for the past five years. With earnings per share growing rapidly and the company sensibly reinvesting almost all of its profits within the business, Masco looks like a promising growth company.
Many investors will assess a company’s dividend performance by evaluating how much the dividend payments have changed over time. Masco has seen its dividend decline 6.5% 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.
To Sum It Up
From a dividend perspective, should investors buy or avoid Masco? Masco 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. There’s a lot to like about Masco, and we would prioritise taking a closer look at it.
Curious what other investors think of Masco? See what analysts 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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