It looks like Repsol, S.A. (BME:REP) is about to go ex-dividend in the next 4 days. The ex-dividend date is usually set to be one business day before the record date which is the cut-off date on which you must be present on the company's books as a shareholder in order to receive the dividend. The ex-dividend date is of consequence because whenever a stock is bought or sold, the trade takes at least two business day to settle. Thus, you can purchase Repsol's shares before the 5th of July in order to receive the dividend, which the company will pay on the 7th of July.
The company's next dividend payment will be €0.24 per share. Last year, in total, the company distributed €0.60 to shareholders. Based on the last year's worth of payments, Repsol has a trailing yield of 5.6% on the current stock price of €10.684. Dividends are an important source of income to many shareholders, but the health of the business is crucial to maintaining those dividends. So we need to check whether the dividend payments are covered, and if earnings are 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. Repsol reported a loss last year, so it's not great to see that it has continued paying a dividend. With the recent loss, it's important to check if the business generated enough cash to pay its dividend. If Repsol didn't generate enough cash to pay the dividend, then it must have either paid from cash in the bank or by borrowing money, neither of which is sustainable in the long term. It paid out 21% of its free cash flow as dividends last year, which is conservatively low.
Have Earnings And Dividends Been Growing?
When earnings decline, dividend companies become much harder to analyse and own safely. If business enters a downturn and the dividend is cut, the company could see its value fall precipitously. Repsol was unprofitable last year and, unfortunately, the general trend suggests its earnings have been in decline over the last five years, making us wonder if the dividend is sustainable at all.
Many investors will assess a company's dividend performance by evaluating how much the dividend payments have changed over time. Repsol has seen its dividend decline 5.4% per annum on average over the past 10 years, which is not great to see. While it's not great that earnings and dividends per share have fallen in recent years, we're encouraged by the fact that management has trimmed the dividend rather than risk over-committing the company in a risky attempt to maintain yields to shareholders.
Remember, you can always get a snapshot of Repsol's financial health, by checking our visualisation of its financial health, here.
To Sum It Up
Is Repsol worth buying for its dividend? It's hard to get used to Repsol paying a dividend despite reporting a loss over the past year. At least the dividend was covered by free cash flow, however. It's not the most attractive proposition from a dividend perspective, and we'd probably give this one a miss for now.
Having said that, if you're looking at this stock without much concern for the dividend, you should still be familiar of the risks involved with Repsol. To help with this, we've discovered 2 warning signs for Repsol that you should be aware of before investing in their shares.
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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