Gentex Corporation (NASDAQ:GNTX) is about to trade ex-dividend in the next four days. You can purchase shares before the 8th of April in order to receive the dividend, which the company will pay on the 21st of April.
Gentex's next dividend payment will be US$0.12 per share, and in the last 12 months, the company paid a total of US$0.48 per share. Based on the last year's worth of payments, Gentex stock has a trailing yield of around 1.3% on the current share price of $36.01. Dividends are a major contributor to investment returns for long term holders, but only if the dividend continues to be paid. As a result, readers should always check whether Gentex has been able to grow its dividends, or if the dividend might be cut.
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 Gentex paying out a modest 34% 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. Thankfully its dividend payments took up just 28% of the free cash flow it generated, which is a comfortable payout ratio.
It's positive to see that Gentex'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?
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. This is why it's a relief to see Gentex earnings per share are up 5.4% per annum over the last five years. Management have been reinvested more than half of the company's earnings within the business, and the company has been able to grow earnings with this retained capital. We think this is generally an attractive combination, as dividends can grow through a combination of earnings growth and or a higher payout ratio over time.
Many investors will assess a company's dividend performance by evaluating how much the dividend payments have changed over time. Since the start of our data, 10 years ago, Gentex has lifted its dividend by approximately 8.1% a year on average. It's encouraging to see the company lifting dividends while earnings are growing, suggesting at least some corporate interest in rewarding shareholders.
The Bottom Line
Has Gentex got what it takes to maintain its dividend payments? Earnings per share growth has been growing somewhat, and Gentex 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. It might be nice to see earnings growing faster, but Gentex is being conservative with its dividend payouts and could still perform reasonably over the long run. Gentex looks solid on this analysis overall, and we'd definitely consider investigating it more closely.
Curious what other investors think of Gentex? See what analysts are forecasting, with this visualisation of its historical and future estimated earnings and cash flow.
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. 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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