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 Primerica, Inc. (NYSE:PRI) is about to go ex-dividend in just 3 days. You can purchase shares before the 20th of August in order to receive the dividend, which the company will pay on the 13th of September.
Primerica’s upcoming dividend is US$0.34 a share, following on from the last 12 months, when the company distributed a total of US$1.36 per share to shareholders. Calculating the last year’s worth of payments shows that Primerica has a trailing yield of 1.2% on the current share price of $111.57. 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! So we need to investigate whether Primerica can afford its dividend, and if the dividend could grow.
Dividends are usually paid out of company profits, so if a company pays out more than it earned then its dividend is usually at greater risk of being cut. Primerica paid out just 16% of its profit last year, which we think is conservatively low and leaves plenty of margin for unexpected circumstances.
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.
Have Earnings And Dividends Been Growing?
Stocks in companies that generate sustainable earnings growth often make the best dividend prospects, as it is easier to lift the dividend when earnings are rising. Investors love dividends, so if earnings fall and the dividend is reduced, expect a stock to be sold off heavily at the same time. It’s encouraging to see Primerica has grown its earnings rapidly, up 24% a year for the past five years.
Many investors will assess a company’s dividend performance by evaluating how much the dividend payments have changed over time. In the last 9 years, Primerica has lifted its dividend by approximately 48% 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
Should investors buy Primerica for the upcoming dividend? Typically, companies that are growing rapidly and paying out a low fraction of earnings are keeping the profits for reinvestment in the business. Perhaps even more importantly – this can sometimes signal management is focused on the long term future of the business. Overall, Primerica looks like a promising dividend stock in this analysis, and we think it would be worth investigating further.
Ever wonder what the future holds for Primerica? See what the four analysts we track 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.
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If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.