How Does Walmart Inc. (NYSE:WMT) Fare As A Dividend Stock?

A sizeable part of portfolio returns can be produced by dividend stocks due to their contribution to compounding returns in the long run. Historically, Walmart Inc. (NYSE:WMT) has paid dividends to shareholders, and these days it yields 2.1%. Let’s dig deeper into whether Walmart should have a place in your portfolio.

Check out our latest analysis for Walmart

5 checks you should do on a dividend stock

If you are a dividend investor, you should always assess these five key metrics:

  • Is its annual yield among the top 25% of dividend-paying companies?
  • Has it paid dividend every year without dramatically reducing payout in the past?
  • Has the amount of dividend per share grown over the past?
  • Can it afford to pay the current rate of dividends from its earnings?
  • Will the company be able to keep paying dividend based on the future earnings growth?
NYSE:WMT Historical Dividend Yield, March 1st 2019
NYSE:WMT Historical Dividend Yield, March 1st 2019

Does Walmart pass our checks?

The current trailing twelve-month payout ratio for WMT is 91%, which means that the dividend is not well-covered by its earnings. In the near future, analysts are predicting a more sensible payout ratio of 43%, which, assuming the share price stays the same, leads to a dividend yield of around 2.3%. Furthermore, EPS should increase to $4.72, meaning that the lower payout ratio does not necessarily implicate a lower dividend payment.

When thinking about whether a dividend is sustainable, another factor to consider is the cash flow. Companies with strong cash flow can sustain a higher payout ratio, while companies with weaker cash flow generally cannot.

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. WMT has increased its DPS from $1.09 to $2.12 in the past 10 years. During this period it has not missed a payment, as one would expect for a company increasing its dividend. These are all positive signs of a great, reliable dividend stock.

Relative to peers, Walmart produces a yield of 2.1%, which is high for Consumer Retailing stocks but still below the market’s top dividend payers.

Next Steps:

With these dividend metrics in mind, I definitely rank Walmart as a strong income stock, and is worth further research for anyone who considers dividends an important part of their portfolio strategy. Given that this is purely a dividend analysis, I urge potential investors to try and get a good understanding of the underlying business and its fundamentals before deciding on an investment. I’ve put together three important aspects you should further research:

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for WMT’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for WMT’s outlook.
  2. Valuation: What is WMT 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 WMT is currently mispriced by the market.
  3. Other 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.