It looks like Koninklijke Ahold Delhaize N.V. (AMS:AD) is about to go ex-dividend in the next day or two. 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 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. Therefore, if you purchase Koninklijke Ahold Delhaize's shares on or after the 19th of April, you won't be eligible to receive the dividend, when it is paid on the 28th of April.
The company's next dividend payment will be €0.52 per share, and in the last 12 months, the company paid a total of €0.95 per share. Based on the last year's worth of payments, Koninklijke Ahold Delhaize stock has a trailing yield of around 3.3% on the current share price of €28.415. Dividends are an important source of income to many shareholders, but the health of the business is crucial to maintaining those dividends. We need to see whether the dividend is covered by earnings and if it's growing.
Dividends are usually paid out of company profits, so if a company pays out more than it earned then its dividend is usually at greater risk of being cut. That's why it's good to see Koninklijke Ahold Delhaize paying out a modest 43% of its earnings. 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. Fortunately, it paid out only 28% of its free cash flow in the past year.
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?
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 earnings decline and the company is forced to cut its dividend, investors could watch the value of their investment go up in smoke. It's encouraging to see Koninklijke Ahold Delhaize has grown its earnings rapidly, up 23% a year for the past five years. Koninklijke Ahold Delhaize is paying out less than half its earnings and cash flow, while simultaneously growing earnings per share at a rapid clip. This is a very favourable combination that can often lead to the dividend multiplying over the long term, if earnings grow and the company pays out a higher percentage of its earnings.
The main way most investors will assess a company's dividend prospects is by checking the historical rate of dividend growth. Koninklijke Ahold Delhaize has delivered an average of 11% per year annual increase in its dividend, based on the past 10 years of dividend payments. It's exciting to see that both earnings and dividends per share have grown rapidly over the past few years.
The Bottom Line
Is Koninklijke Ahold Delhaize worth buying for its dividend? It's great that Koninklijke Ahold Delhaize 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. Overall we think this is an attractive combination and worthy of further research.
On that note, you'll want to research what risks Koninklijke Ahold Delhaize is facing. Every company has risks, and we've spotted 1 warning sign for Koninklijke Ahold Delhaize you should know about.
Generally, we wouldn't recommend just buying the first dividend stock you see. Here's a curated list of interesting stocks that are strong dividend payers.
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.