Some investors rely on dividends for growing their wealth, and if you're one of those dividend sleuths, you might be intrigued to know that LKQ Corporation (NASDAQ:LKQ) is about to go ex-dividend in just 2 days. The ex-dividend date is one business day before a company's record date, which is the date on which the company determines which shareholders are entitled to receive a dividend. It is important to be aware of the ex-dividend date because any trade on the stock needs to have been settled on or before the record date. Accordingly, LKQ investors that purchase the stock on or after the 18th of May will not receive the dividend, which will be paid on the 2nd of June.
The company's next dividend payment will be US$0.25 per share. Last year, in total, the company distributed US$1.00 to shareholders. Calculating the last year's worth of payments shows that LKQ has a trailing yield of 2.0% on the current share price of $51.09. Dividends are an important source of income to many shareholders, but the health of the business is crucial to maintaining those dividends. That's why we should always check whether the dividend payments appear sustainable, and if the company is growing.
Dividends are typically paid from company earnings. If a company pays more in dividends than it earned in profit, then the dividend could be unsustainable. LKQ paid out just 13% of its profit last year, which we think is conservatively low and leaves plenty of margin for unexpected circumstances. That said, even highly profitable companies sometimes might not generate enough cash to pay the dividend, which is why we should always check if the dividend is covered by cash flow. The good news is it paid out just 15% of its free cash flow in the last year.
It's positive to see that LKQ'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.
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 business enters a downturn and the dividend is cut, the company could see its value fall precipitously. That's why it's comforting to see LKQ's earnings have been skyrocketing, up 21% per annum for the past five years. With earnings per share growing rapidly and the company sensibly reinvesting almost all of its profits within the business, LKQ looks like a promising growth company.
Unfortunately LKQ has only been paying a dividend for a year or so, so there's not much of a history to draw insight from.
To Sum It Up
Should investors buy LKQ for the upcoming dividend? We love that LKQ is growing earnings per share while simultaneously paying out a low percentage of both its earnings and cash flow. These characteristics suggest the company is reinvesting in growing its business, while the conservative payout ratio also implies a reduced risk of the dividend being cut in the future. It's a promising combination that should mark this company worthy of closer attention.
So while LKQ looks good from a dividend perspective, it's always worthwhile being up to date with the risks involved in this stock. For example, we've found 2 warning signs for LKQ that we recommend you consider before investing in the business.
If you're in the market for strong dividend payers, we recommend checking our selection of top 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.