Regular readers will know that we love our dividends at Simply Wall St, which is why it's exciting to see Burberry Group plc (LON:BRBY) is about to trade ex-dividend in the next 4 days. The ex-dividend date occurs one day before the record date which is the day on which shareholders need to be on the company's books in order 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. Meaning, you will need to purchase Burberry Group's shares before the 16th of December to receive the dividend, which will be paid on the 28th of January.
The company's next dividend payment will be UK£0.12 per share, on the back of last year when the company paid a total of UK£0.42 to shareholders. Based on the last year's worth of payments, Burberry Group stock has a trailing yield of around 2.3% on the current share price of £18.2. Dividends are a major contributor to investment returns for long term holders, but only if the dividend continues to be paid. So we need to investigate whether Burberry Group can afford its dividend, and if the dividend could grow.
If a company pays out more in dividends than it earned, then the dividend might become unsustainable - hardly an ideal situation. That's why it's good to see Burberry Group paying out a modest 46% of its earnings. 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. Thankfully its dividend payments took up just 27% of the free cash flow it generated, which is a comfortable payout ratio.
It's positive to see that Burberry Group'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?
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. If earnings decline and the company is forced to cut its dividend, investors could watch the value of their investment go up in smoke. For this reason, we're glad to see Burberry Group's earnings per share have risen 11% per annum over the last five years. Earnings per share are growing rapidly and the company is keeping more than half of its earnings within the business; an attractive combination which could suggest the company is focused on reinvesting to grow earnings further. Fast-growing businesses that are reinvesting heavily are enticing from a dividend perspective, especially since they can often increase the payout ratio later.
Many investors will assess a company's dividend performance by evaluating how much the dividend payments have changed over time. Burberry Group has delivered 7.8% dividend growth per year on average over the past 10 years. 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.
Has Burberry Group got what it takes to maintain its dividend payments? It's great that Burberry Group is growing earnings per share while simultaneously paying out a low percentage of both its earnings and cash flow. It's disappointing to see the dividend has been cut at least once in the past, but as things stand now, the low payout ratio suggests a conservative approach to dividends, which we like. Burberry Group looks solid on this analysis overall, and we'd definitely consider investigating it more closely.
While it's tempting to invest in Burberry Group for the dividends alone, you should always be mindful of the risks involved. Case in point: We've spotted 1 warning sign for Burberry Group you should be aware of.
A common investment mistake is buying the first interesting stock you see. Here you can find a list of promising dividend stocks with a greater than 2% yield and an upcoming dividend.
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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.