Is CRA International, Inc. (NASDAQ:CRAI) A Strong Dividend Stock?

Dividends play an important role in compounding returns in the long run and end up forming a sizeable part of investment returns. CRA International, Inc. (NASDAQ:CRAI) has recently paid dividends to shareholders, and currently yields 1.6%. Does CRA International tick all the boxes of a great dividend stock? Below, I’ll take you through my analysis.

See our latest analysis for CRA International

How I analyze a dividend stock

When assessing a stock as a potential addition to my dividend Portfolio, I look at these five areas:

  • Is it the top 25% annual dividend yield payer?
  • Has its dividend been stable over the past (i.e. no missed payments or significant payout cuts)?
  • Has it increased its dividend per share amount over the past?
  • Is its earnings sufficient to payout dividend at the current rate?
  • Will it be able to continue to payout at the current rate in the future?
NasdaqGS:CRAI Historical Dividend Yield, March 27th 2019
NasdaqGS:CRAI Historical Dividend Yield, March 27th 2019

How does CRA International fare?

The company currently pays out 26% of its earnings as a dividend, according to its trailing twelve-month data, which means that the dividend is covered by earnings. Furthermore, analysts have not forecasted a dividends per share for the future, which makes it hard to determine the yield shareholders should expect, and whether the current payout is sustainable, moving forward.

When thinking about whether a dividend is sustainable, another factor to consider is the cash flow. A company with strong cash flow, relative to earnings, can sometimes sustain a high pay out ratio.

Reliablity is an important factor for dividend stocks, particularly for income investors who want a strong track record of payment and a positive outlook for future payout. The reality is that it is too early to consider CRA International as a dividend investment. It has only been consistently paying dividends for 2 years, however, standard practice for reliable payers is to look for a 10-year minimum track record.

In terms of its peers, CRA International has a yield of 1.6%, which is on the low-side for Professional Services stocks.

Next Steps:

Now you know to keep in mind the reason why investors should be careful investing in CRA International for the dividend. But if you are not exclusively a dividend investor, the stock could still be an interesting investment opportunity. Given that this is purely a dividend analysis, I recommend taking sufficient time to understand its core business and determine whether the company and its investment properties suit your overall goals. I’ve put together three pertinent factors you should further research:

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for CRAI’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for CRAI’s outlook.
  2. Valuation: What is CRAI worth today? Even if the stock is a cash cow, it’s not worth an infinite price. The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether CRAI is currently mispriced by the market.
  3. Dividend Rockstars: Are there better dividend payers with stronger fundamentals out there? Check out our free list of these great stocks here.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. 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. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.