It looks like CDK Global, Inc. (NASDAQ:CDK) is about to go ex-dividend in the next four days. Ex-dividend means that investors that purchase the stock on or after the 30th of November will not receive this dividend, which will be paid on the 30th of December.
CDK Global's upcoming dividend is US$0.15 a share, following on from the last 12 months, when the company distributed a total of US$0.60 per share to shareholders. Based on the last year's worth of payments, CDK Global has a trailing yield of 1.2% on the current stock price of $48.65. If you buy this business for its dividend, you should have an idea of whether CDK Global's dividend is reliable and sustainable. So we need to check whether the dividend payments are covered, and if earnings are growing.
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. CDK Global paid out a comfortable 26% of its profit last year. 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. Luckily it paid out just 23% 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 business enters a downturn and the dividend is cut, the company could see its value fall precipitously. For this reason, we're glad to see CDK Global's earnings per share have risen 15% per annum over the last 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. This will make it easier to fund future growth efforts and we think this is an attractive combination - plus the dividend can always be increased later.
The main way most investors will assess a company's dividend prospects is by checking the historical rate of dividend growth. CDK Global has delivered 3.8% dividend growth per year on average over the past six years. It's good to see both earnings and the dividend have improved - although the former has been rising much quicker than the latter, possibly due to the company reinvesting more of its profits in growth.
The Bottom Line
Should investors buy CDK Global for the upcoming dividend? CDK Global 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.
On that note, you'll want to research what risks CDK Global is facing. Case in point: We've spotted 1 warning sign for CDK Global you should be aware of.
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.
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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. 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.
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