Smartphoto Group NV (EBR:SMAR) stock is about to trade ex-dividend in 3 days. The ex-dividend date is one business day before the record date, which is the cut-off date for shareholders to be present on the company's books to be eligible for a dividend payment. The ex-dividend date is important because any transaction on a stock needs to have been settled before the record date in order to be eligible for a dividend. This means that investors who purchase Smartphoto Group's shares on or after the 16th of May will not receive the dividend, which will be paid on the 18th of May.
The company's next dividend payment will be €0.46 per share, on the back of last year when the company paid a total of €0.65 to shareholders. Based on the last year's worth of payments, Smartphoto Group stock has a trailing yield of around 2.4% on the current share price of €27.1. 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! 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. Smartphoto Group paid out a comfortable 47% of its profit last year. That said, even highly profitable companies sometimes might not generate enough cash to pay the dividend, which is why we should always check if the dividend is covered by cash flow. Dividends consumed 73% of the company's free cash flow last year, which is within a normal range for most dividend-paying organisations.
It's encouraging to see that the dividend is covered by both profit and cash flow. This generally suggests the dividend is sustainable, as long as earnings don't drop precipitously.
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 Smartphoto Group's earnings have been skyrocketing, up 34% per annum for the past five years.
Another key way to measure a company's dividend prospects is by measuring its historical rate of dividend growth. In the last three years, Smartphoto Group has lifted its dividend by approximately 9.1% 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
Is Smartphoto Group an attractive dividend stock, or better left on the shelf? From a dividend perspective, we're encouraged to see that earnings per share have been growing, the company is paying out less than half of its earnings, and a bit over half its free cash flow. Overall we think this is an attractive combination and worthy of further research.
So while Smartphoto Group looks good from a dividend perspective, it's always worthwhile being up to date with the risks involved in this stock. In terms of investment risks, we've identified 2 warning signs with Smartphoto Group and understanding them should be part of your investment process.
If you're in the market for strong dividend payers, we recommend checking our selection of top dividend stocks.
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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.