Apogee Enterprises, Inc. (NASDAQ:APOG) is about to trade ex-dividend in the next three 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 of consequence because whenever a stock is bought or sold, the trade takes at least two business day to settle. Accordingly, Apogee Enterprises investors that purchase the stock on or after the 28th of January will not receive the dividend, which will be paid on the 15th of February.
The company's upcoming dividend is US$0.22 a share, following on from the last 12 months, when the company distributed a total of US$0.88 per share to shareholders. Looking at the last 12 months of distributions, Apogee Enterprises has a trailing yield of approximately 1.9% on its current stock price of $45.86. 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 Apogee Enterprises has been able to grow its dividends, or if the dividend might be cut.
Dividends are typically paid from company earnings. If a company pays more in dividends than it earned in profit, then the dividend could be unsustainable. Apogee Enterprises lost money last year, so the fact that it's paying a dividend is certainly disconcerting. There might be a good reason for this, but we'd want to look into it further before getting comfortable. 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. It paid out 24% of its free cash flow as dividends last year, which is conservatively low.
Have Earnings And Dividends Been Growing?
When earnings decline, dividend companies become much harder to analyse and own safely. Investors love dividends, so if earnings fall and the dividend is reduced, expect a stock to be sold off heavily at the same time. Apogee Enterprises 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. In the past 10 years, Apogee Enterprises has increased its dividend at approximately 10% a year on average.
We update our analysis on Apogee Enterprises every 24 hours, so you can always get the latest insights on its financial health, here.
The Bottom Line
Is Apogee Enterprises worth buying for its dividend? It's hard to get used to Apogee Enterprises paying a dividend despite reporting a loss over the past year. At least the dividend was covered by free cash flow, however. It's not an attractive combination from a dividend perspective, and we're inclined to pass on this one for the time being.
Having said that, if you're looking at this stock without much concern for the dividend, you should still be familiar of the risks involved with Apogee Enterprises. For example, we've found 2 warning signs for Apogee Enterprises that we recommend you consider before investing in the business.
We wouldn't recommend just buying the first dividend stock you see, though. Here's a list of interesting dividend stocks with a greater than 2% yield and an upcoming dividend.
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.