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 EnerSys (NYSE:ENS) is about to go ex-dividend in just 4 days. You can purchase shares before the 12th of September in order to receive the dividend, which the company will pay on the 27th of September.
EnerSys’s next dividend payment will be US$0.17 per share, and in the last 12 months, the company paid a total of US$0.70 per share. Looking at the last 12 months of distributions, EnerSys has a trailing yield of approximately 1.2% on its current stock price of $58.86. Dividends are a major contributor to investment returns for long term holders, but only if the dividend continues to be paid. That’s why we should always check whether the dividend payments appear sustainable, and if the company is 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. EnerSys has a low and conservative payout ratio of just 18% of its income after tax. 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. What’s good is that dividends were well covered by free cash flow, with the company paying out 23% of its cash flow last year.
It’s positive to see that EnerSys’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?
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 business enters a downturn and the dividend is cut, the company could see its value fall precipitously. With that in mind, we’re encouraged by the steady growth at EnerSys, with earnings per share up 3.9% on average over the last five years. EnerSys is retaining more than three-quarters of its earnings and has a history of generating some growth in earnings. We think this is a reasonable combination.
Many investors will assess a company’s dividend performance by evaluating how much the dividend payments have changed over time. In the last six years, EnerSys has lifted its dividend by approximately 5.8% a year on average. We’re glad to see dividends rising alongside earnings over a number of years, which may be a sign the company intends to share the growth with shareholders.
The Bottom Line
Should investors buy EnerSys for the upcoming dividend? Earnings per share have been growing moderately, and EnerSys is paying out less than half its earnings and cash flow as dividends, which is an attractive combination as it suggests the company is investing in growth. It might be nice to see earnings growing faster, but EnerSys is being conservative with its dividend payouts and could still perform reasonably over the long run. It’s a promising combination that should mark this company worthy of closer attention.
Curious what other investors think of EnerSys? 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.
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