Lennox International Inc. (NYSE:LII) is about to trade ex-dividend in the next four days. Typically, the ex-dividend date is one business day before the record date which is the date on which a company determines the shareholders eligible to receive a dividend. The ex-dividend date is important as the process of settlement involves two full business days. So if you miss that date, you would not show up on the company's books on the record date. Meaning, you will need to purchase Lennox International's shares before the 30th of December to receive the dividend, which will be paid on the 14th of January.
The company's next dividend payment will be US$0.92 per share, and in the last 12 months, the company paid a total of US$3.68 per share. Calculating the last year's worth of payments shows that Lennox International has a trailing yield of 1.2% on the current share price of $316.11. If you buy this business for its dividend, you should have an idea of whether Lennox International's dividend is reliable and sustainable. As a result, readers should always check whether Lennox International has been able to grow its dividends, or if the dividend might be cut.
Dividends are typically paid out of company income, so if a company pays out more than it earned, its dividend is usually at a higher risk of being cut. Lennox International paid out a comfortable 26% of its profit last year. Yet cash flow is typically more important than profit for assessing dividend sustainability, so we should always check if the company generated enough cash to afford its dividend. Fortunately, it paid out only 26% of its free cash flow in the past year.
It's positive to see that Lennox International'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?
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 earnings decline and the company is forced to cut its dividend, investors could watch the value of their investment go up in smoke. That's why it's comforting to see Lennox International's earnings have been skyrocketing, up 26% per annum for the past five years. Earnings per share have been growing very quickly, and the company is paying out a relatively low percentage of its profit and cash flow. Companies with growing earnings and low payout ratios are often the best long-term dividend stocks, as the company can both grow its earnings and increase the percentage of earnings that it pays out, essentially multiplying the dividend.
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, Lennox International has lifted its dividend by approximately 18% a year on average. Both per-share earnings and dividends have both been growing rapidly in recent times, which is great to see.
The Bottom Line
Should investors buy Lennox International for the upcoming dividend? Lennox International has been growing earnings at a rapid rate, and has a conservatively low payout ratio, implying that it is reinvesting heavily in its business; a sterling combination. There's a lot to like about Lennox International, and we would prioritise taking a closer look at it.
With that in mind, a critical part of thorough stock research is being aware of any risks that stock currently faces. For example - Lennox International has 2 warning signs we think you should be aware of.
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. 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.