American Software, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMSW.A) will pay a dividend of $0.11 on the 26th of August. Based on this payment, the dividend yield on the company's stock will be 2.7%, which is an attractive boost to shareholder returns.
American Software Is Paying Out More Than It Is Earning
We like to see robust dividend yields, but that doesn't matter if the payment isn't sustainable. Before making this announcement, American Software's dividend was higher than its profits, but the free cash flows quite comfortably covered it. Healthy cash flows are always a positive sign, especially when they quite easily cover the dividend.
Earnings per share is forecast to rise by 2.1% over the next year. If the dividend continues on its recent course, the payout ratio in 12 months could be 115%, which is a bit high and could start applying pressure to the balance sheet.
American Software Has A Solid Track Record
The company has a sustained record of paying dividends with very little fluctuation. Since 2012, the dividend has gone from $0.36 total annually to $0.44. This means that it has been growing its distributions at 2.0% per annum over that time. While the consistency in the dividend payments is impressive, we think the relatively slow rate of growth is less attractive.
Dividend Growth Is Doubtful
Some investors will be chomping at the bit to buy some of the company's stock based on its dividend history. However, things aren't all that rosy. In the last five years, American Software's earnings per share has shrunk at approximately 5.4% per annum. Declining earnings will inevitably lead to the company paying a lower dividend in line with lower profits. Earnings are forecast to grow over the next 12 months and if that happens we could still be a little bit cautious until it becomes a pattern.
Our Thoughts On American Software's Dividend
Overall, it's nice to see a consistent dividend payment, but we think that longer term, the current level of payment might be unsustainable. The company is generating plenty of cash, but we still think the dividend is a bit high for comfort. This company is not in the top tier of income providing stocks.
It's important to note that companies having a consistent dividend policy will generate greater investor confidence than those having an erratic one. Meanwhile, despite the importance of dividend payments, they are not the only factors our readers should know when assessing a company. Taking the debate a bit further, we've identified 1 warning sign for American Software that investors need to be conscious of moving forward. Is American Software not quite the opportunity you were looking for? Why not check out our selection of top dividend stocks.
What are the risks and opportunities for American Software?
Trading at 26% below our estimate of its fair value
Earnings are forecast to grow 13.38% per year
No risks detected for AMSW.A from our risks checks.
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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.