You Have To Love Kimball International, Inc.’s (NASDAQ:KBAL) Dividend

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Could Kimball International, Inc. (NASDAQ:KBAL) be an attractive dividend share to own for the long haul? Investors are often drawn to strong companies with the idea of reinvesting the dividends. If you are hoping to live on your dividends, it’s important to be more stringent with your investments than the average punter. Regular readers know we like to apply the same approach to each dividend stock, and we hope you’ll find our analysis useful.

While Kimball International’s 2.0% dividend yield is not the highest, we think its lengthy payment history is quite interesting. The company also bought back stock equivalent to around 1.9% of market capitalisation this year. Some simple analysis can offer a lot of insights when buying a company for its dividend, and we’ll go through this below.

Click the interactive chart for our full dividend analysis
NasdaqGS:KBAL Historical Dividend Yield, May 13th 2019
NasdaqGS:KBAL Historical Dividend Yield, May 13th 2019

Payout ratios

Companies (usually) pay dividends out of their earnings. If a company is paying more than it earns, the dividend might have to be cut. So we need to be form a view on if a company’s dividend is sustainable, relative to its net profit after tax. Looking at the data, we can see that 30% of Kimball International’s profits were paid out as dividends in the last 12 months. This is a middling range that strikes a nice balance between paying dividends to shareholders, and retaining enough earnings to invest in future growth. Plus, there is room to increase the payout ratio over time.

In addition to comparing dividends against profits, we should inspect whether the company generated enough cash to pay its dividend. Kimball International’s cash payout ratio in the last year was 25%, which suggests dividends were well covered by cash generated by the business.

While the above analysis focuses on dividends relative to a company’s earnings, we do note Kimball International’s strong net cash position, which will let it pay larger dividends for a time, should it choose.

Consider getting our latest analysis on Kimball International’s financial position here.

Dividend Volatility

From the perspective of an income investor who wants to earn dividends for many years, there is not much point buying a stock if its dividend is regularly cut or is not reliable. For the purpose of this article, we only scrutinise the last decade of Kimball International’s dividend payments. During this period the dividend has been stable, which could imply the business could have relatively consistent earnings power. During the past ten-year period, the first annual payment was US$0.20 in 2009, compared to US$0.32 last year. Dividends per share have grown at approximately 4.8% per year over this time.

Dividend Growth Potential

Dividend payments have been consistent over the past few years, but we should always check if earnings per share (EPS) are growing, as this will help maintain the purchasing power of the dividend. Strong earnings per share (EPS) growth might encourage our interest in the company despite fluctuating dividends, which is why it’s great to see Kimball International has grown its earnings per share at 34% per annum over the past five years. With high earnings per share growth in recent times and a modest payout ratio, we think this is an attractive combination if earnings can be reinvested to generate further growth.

Conclusion

To summarise, shareholders should always check that Kimball International’s dividends are affordable, that its dividend payments are relatively stable, and that it has decent prospects for growing its earnings and dividend. First, we like that the company’s dividend payments appear well covered, although the retained capital also needs to be effectively reinvested. Next, growing earnings per share and steady dividend payments is a great combination. Kimball International has met all of our criteria, including having strong cash flow that covers the dividend. We definitely think it would be worthwhile looking closer.

See if management have put their money where their mouth is, by checking insider shareholdings in Kimball International stock.

If you are a dividend investor, you might also want to look at our curated list of dividend stocks yielding above 3%.

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.