Dana Incorporated (NYSE:DAN) stock is about to trade ex-dividend in 3 days. You will need to purchase shares before the 6th of May to receive the dividend, which will be paid on the 28th of May.
Dana's next dividend payment will be US$0.10 per share, on the back of last year when the company paid a total of US$0.40 to shareholders. Calculating the last year's worth of payments shows that Dana has a trailing yield of 1.6% on the current share price of $25.3. We love seeing companies pay a dividend, but it's also important to be sure that laying the golden eggs isn't going to kill our golden goose! That's why we should always check whether the dividend payments appear sustainable, and if the company is growing.
If a company pays out more in dividends than it earned, then the dividend might become unsustainable - hardly an ideal situation. Dana 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 cash earnings don't cover the dividend, the company would have to pay dividends out of cash in the bank, or by borrowing money, neither of which is long-term sustainable. Luckily it paid out just 9.5% of its free cash flow last year.
Have Earnings And Dividends Been Growing?
Businesses with shrinking earnings are tricky from a dividend perspective. If business enters a downturn and the dividend is cut, the company could see its value fall precipitously. Dana reported a loss last year, and the general trend suggests its earnings have also been declining in recent years, making us wonder if the dividend is at risk.
The main way most investors will assess a company's dividend prospects is by checking the historical rate of dividend growth. Dana has delivered an average of 8.0% per year annual increase in its dividend, based on the past nine years of dividend payments.
Remember, you can always get a snapshot of Dana's financial health, by checking our visualisation of its financial health, here.
The Bottom Line
Is Dana worth buying for its dividend? We're a bit uncomfortable with it paying a dividend while being loss-making. However, we note that the dividend was covered by cash flow. It's not an attractive combination from a dividend perspective, and we're inclined to pass on this one for the time being.
So if you're still interested in Dana despite it's poor dividend qualities, you should be well informed on some of the risks facing this stock. For example, Dana has 3 warning signs (and 1 which makes us a bit uncomfortable) we think you should know about.
If you're in the market for dividend stocks, we recommend checking our list of top 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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