Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co. (NYSE:RS) Looks Like A Good Stock, And It’s Going Ex-Dividend Soon

Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co. (NYSE:RS) is about to trade ex-dividend in the next 3 days. If you purchase the stock on or after the 15th of August, you won’t be eligible to receive this dividend, when it is paid on the 6th of September.

Reliance Steel & Aluminum’s next dividend payment will be US$0.55 per share, on the back of last year when the company paid a total of US$2.20 to shareholders. Calculating the last year’s worth of payments shows that Reliance Steel & Aluminum has a trailing yield of 2.2% on the current share price of $98.42. 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! So we need to investigate whether Reliance Steel & Aluminum can afford its dividend, and if the dividend could grow.

Check out our latest analysis for Reliance Steel & Aluminum

Dividends are usually paid out of company profits, so if a company pays out more than it earned then its dividend is usually at greater risk of being cut. Reliance Steel & Aluminum paid out just 24% of its profit last year, which we think is conservatively low and leaves plenty of margin for unexpected circumstances. Yet cash flows are even more important than profits for assessing a dividend, so we need to see if the company generated enough cash to pay its distribution. What’s good is that dividends were well covered by free cash flow, with the company paying out 19% of its cash flow last year.

It’s positive to see that Reliance Steel & Aluminum’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.

Click here to see the company’s payout ratio, plus analyst estimates of its future dividends.

NYSE:RS Historical Dividend Yield, August 11th 2019
NYSE:RS Historical Dividend Yield, August 11th 2019

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. Investors love dividends, so if earnings fall and the dividend is reduced, expect a stock to be sold off heavily at the same time. Fortunately for readers, Reliance Steel & Aluminum’s earnings per share have been growing at 16% a year for the past five years. Earnings per share are growing rapidly and the company is keeping more than half of its earnings within the business; an attractive combination which could suggest the company is focused on reinvesting to grow earnings further. Fast-growing businesses that are reinvesting heavily are enticing from a dividend perspective, especially since they can often increase the payout ratio later.

Another key way to measure a company’s dividend prospects is by measuring its historical rate of dividend growth. Since the start of our data, 10 years ago, Reliance Steel & Aluminum has lifted its dividend by approximately 19% a year on average. Both per-share earnings and dividends have both been growing rapidly in recent times, which is great to see.

Final Takeaway

Is Reliance Steel & Aluminum worth buying for its dividend? Reliance Steel & Aluminum 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. Overall we think this is an attractive combination and worthy of further research.

Ever wonder what the future holds for Reliance Steel & Aluminum? See what the nine analysts we track are forecasting, with this visualisation of its historical and future estimated earnings and cash flow

We wouldn’t recommend just buying the first dividend stock you see, though. Here’s a list of interesting dividend stocks with a greater than 2% yield and an upcoming dividend.

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.