Manulife Financial Corporation (TSE:MFC) stock is about to trade ex-dividend in 4 days. Typically, the ex-dividend date is one business day before the record date which is the date on which a company determines the shareholders eligible to receive a dividend. The ex-dividend date is an important date to be aware of as any purchase of the stock made on or after this date might mean a late settlement that doesn't show on the record date. This means that investors who purchase Manulife Financial's shares on or after the 30th of November will not receive the dividend, which will be paid on the 20th of December.
The company's next dividend payment will be CA$0.33 per share. Last year, in total, the company distributed CA$1.12 to shareholders. Based on the last year's worth of payments, Manulife Financial has a trailing yield of 4.5% on the current stock price of CA$24.78. 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! That's why we should always check whether the dividend payments appear sustainable, and if the company is growing.
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. Fortunately Manulife Financial's payout ratio is modest, at just 33% of profit.
When a company paid out less in dividends than it earned in profit, this generally suggests its dividend is affordable. The lower the % of its profit that it pays out, the greater the margin of safety for the dividend if the business enters a downturn.
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. It's encouraging to see Manulife Financial has grown its earnings rapidly, up 26% a year for the past five years.
The main way most investors will assess a company's dividend prospects is by checking the historical rate of dividend growth. In the past 10 years, Manulife Financial has increased its dividend at approximately 8.0% 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.
To Sum It Up
From a dividend perspective, should investors buy or avoid Manulife Financial? Typically, companies that are growing rapidly and paying out a low fraction of earnings are keeping the profits for reinvestment in the business. This is one of the most attractive investment combinations under this analysis, as it can create substantial value for investors over the long run. We think this is a pretty attractive combination, and would be interested in investigating Manulife Financial more closely.
On that note, you'll want to research what risks Manulife Financial is facing. Case in point: We've spotted 1 warning sign for Manulife Financial you should be aware of.
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.
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.
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