Regular readers will know that we love our dividends at Simply Wall St, which is why it's exciting to see Lennar Corporation (NYSE:LEN) is about to trade ex-dividend in the next 4 days. The ex-dividend date is one business day before the record date, which is the cut-off date for shareholders to be present on the company's books to be eligible for a dividend payment. The ex-dividend date is an important date to be aware of as any purchase of the stock made on or after this date might mean a late settlement that doesn't show on the record date. Therefore, if you purchase Lennar's shares on or after the 25th of April, you won't be eligible to receive the dividend, when it is paid on the 10th of May.
The company's next dividend payment will be US$0.38 per share, and in the last 12 months, the company paid a total of US$1.50 per share. Based on the last year's worth of payments, Lennar has a trailing yield of 1.9% on the current stock price of $79.55. 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! As a result, readers should always check whether Lennar 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. Lennar has a low and conservative payout ratio of just 8.8% of its income after tax. 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. Luckily it paid out just 17% of its free cash flow last year.
It's encouraging to see that the dividend is covered by both profit and cash flow. This generally suggests the dividend is sustainable, as long as earnings don't drop precipitously.
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. It's encouraging to see Lennar has grown its earnings rapidly, up 27% a year for the past five years. Lennar looks like a real growth company, with earnings per share growing at a cracking pace and the company reinvesting most of its profits in the business.
Another key way to measure a company's dividend prospects is by measuring its historical rate of dividend growth. Lennar has delivered 25% dividend growth per year on average over the past 10 years. It's exciting to see that both earnings and dividends per share have grown rapidly over the past few years.
The Bottom Line
Has Lennar got what it takes to maintain its dividend payments? Lennar 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. It's a promising combination that should mark this company worthy of closer attention.
While it's tempting to invest in Lennar for the dividends alone, you should always be mindful of the risks involved. Our analysis shows 1 warning sign for Lennar and you should be aware of this before buying any shares.
A common investing mistake is buying the first interesting stock you see. Here you can find a full list of high-yield dividend stocks.
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.