How Does Citrix Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CTXS) Stand Up To These Simple Dividend Safety Checks?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
November 04, 2020
NasdaqGS:CTXS

Is Citrix Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CTXS) a good dividend stock? How can we tell? Dividend paying companies with growing earnings can be highly rewarding in the long term. If you are hoping to live on the income from dividends, it's important to be a lot more stringent with your investments than the average punter.

With only a two-year payment history, and a 1.2% yield, investors probably think Citrix Systems is not much of a dividend stock. A low dividend might not be a bad thing, if the company is reinvesting heavily and growing its sales and profits. The company also bought back stock equivalent to around 9.9% of market capitalisation this year. Some simple research can reduce the risk of buying Citrix Systems for its dividend - read on to learn more.

Click the interactive chart for our full dividend analysis

historic-dividend
NasdaqGS:CTXS Historic Dividend November 4th 2020

Payout ratios

Dividends are typically paid from company earnings. If a company pays more in dividends than it earned, then the dividend might become unsustainable - hardly an ideal situation. So we need to form a view on if a company's dividend is sustainable, relative to its net profit after tax. In the last year, Citrix Systems paid out 29% of its profit as dividends. This is a middling range that strikes a nice balance between paying dividends to shareholders, and retaining enough earnings to invest in future growth. Besides, if reinvestment opportunities dry up, the company has room to increase the dividend.

We also measure dividends paid against a company's levered free cash flow, to see if enough cash was generated to cover the dividend. Citrix Systems paid out 18% of its free cash flow as dividends last year, which is conservative and suggests the dividend is sustainable. 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.

We update our data on Citrix Systems every 24 hours, so you can always get our latest analysis of its financial health, here.

Dividend Volatility

One of the major risks of relying on dividend income, is the potential for a company to struggle financially and cut its dividend. Not only is your income cut, but the value of your investment declines as well - nasty. The company has been paying a stable dividend for a few years now, but we'd like to see more evidence of consistency over a longer period. Its most recent annual dividend was US$1.4 per share, effectively flat on its first payment two years ago.

It's good to see at least some dividend growth. Yet with a relatively short dividend paying history, we wouldn't want to depend on this dividend too heavily.

Dividend Growth Potential

Dividend payments have been consistent over the past few years, but we should always check if earnings per share (EPS) are growing, as this will help maintain the purchasing power of the dividend. Strong earnings per share (EPS) growth might encourage our interest in the company despite fluctuating dividends, which is why it's great to see Citrix Systems has grown its earnings per share at 26% per annum over the past five years. Earnings per share have rocketed in recent times, and we like that the company is retaining more than half of its earnings to reinvest. However, always remember that very few companies can grow at double digit rates forever.

Conclusion

To summarise, shareholders should always check that Citrix Systems' dividends are affordable, that its dividend payments are relatively stable, and that it has decent prospects for growing its earnings and dividend. Firstly, we like that Citrix Systems has low and conservative payout ratios. Next, earnings growth has been good, but unfortunately the company has not been paying dividends as long as we'd like. Overall we think Citrix Systems scores well on our analysis. It's not quite perfect, but we'd definitely be keen to take a closer look.

Companies possessing a stable dividend policy will likely enjoy greater investor interest than those suffering from a more inconsistent approach. 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 2 warning signs for Citrix Systems that investors need to be conscious of moving forward.

Looking for more high-yielding dividend ideas? Try our curated list of dividend stocks with a yield above 3%.

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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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