Regular readers will know that we love our dividends at Simply Wall St, which is why it's exciting to see Elanders AB (publ) (STO:ELAN B) is about to trade ex-dividend in the next 3 days. The ex-dividend date is one business day before a company's record date, which is the date on which the company determines which shareholders are entitled to receive a dividend. 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. In other words, investors can purchase Elanders' shares before the 22nd of April in order to be eligible for the dividend, which will be paid on the 28th of April.
The company's next dividend payment will be kr3.60 per share, on the back of last year when the company paid a total of kr3.60 to shareholders. Based on the last year's worth of payments, Elanders stock has a trailing yield of around 2.7% on the current share price of SEK131.8. If you buy this business for its dividend, you should have an idea of whether Elanders's dividend is reliable and sustainable. So we need to check whether the dividend payments are covered, and if earnings are growing.
If a company pays out more in dividends than it earned, then the dividend might become unsustainable - hardly an ideal situation. Elanders paid out a comfortable 39% 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. What's good is that dividends were well covered by free cash flow, with the company paying out 12% of its cash flow last 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?
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. This is why it's a relief to see Elanders earnings per share are up 4.4% per annum over the last five years. Earnings per share growth in recent times has not been a standout. However, companies that see their growth slow can often choose to pay out a greater percentage of earnings to shareholders, which could see the dividend continue to rise.
The main way most investors will assess a company's dividend prospects is by checking the historical rate of dividend growth. Elanders has delivered 22% 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.
To Sum It Up
Is Elanders worth buying for its dividend? Earnings per share growth has been growing somewhat, and Elanders is paying out less than half its earnings and cash flow as dividends. This is interesting for a few reasons, as it suggests management may be reinvesting heavily in the business, but it also provides room to increase the dividend in time. We would prefer to see earnings growing faster, but the best dividend stocks over the long term typically combine significant earnings per share growth with a low payout ratio, and Elanders is halfway there. It's a promising combination that should mark this company worthy of closer attention.
In light of that, while Elanders has an appealing dividend, it's worth knowing the risks involved with this stock. For example, we've found 3 warning signs for Elanders that we recommend you consider before investing in the business.
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.