Universal Logistics Holdings, Inc.'s (NASDAQ:ULH) investors are due to receive a payment of US$0.10 per share on 4th of April. The dividend yield will be 2.3% based on this payment which is still above the industry average.
Universal Logistics Holdings' Earnings Easily Cover the Distributions
While it is great to have a strong dividend yield, we should also consider whether the payment is sustainable. Before making this announcement, Universal Logistics Holdings was easily earning enough to cover the dividend. This means that most of its earnings are being retained to grow the business.
Looking forward, earnings per share is forecast to rise by 24.1% over the next year. If the dividend continues on this path, the payout ratio could be 13% by next year, which we think can be pretty sustainable going forward.
Although the company has a long dividend history, it has been cut at least once in the last 10 years. Since 2012, the dividend has gone from US$1.00 to US$0.42. This works out to be a decline of approximately 8.3% per year over that time. Generally, we don't like to see a dividend that has been declining over time as this can degrade shareholders' returns and indicate that the company may be running into problems.
The Dividend Looks Likely To Grow
Given that dividend payments have been shrinking like a glacier in a warming world, we need to check if there are some bright spots on the horizon. Universal Logistics Holdings has impressed us by growing EPS at 26% per year over the past five years. Rapid earnings growth and a low payout ratio suggest this company has been effectively reinvesting in its business. Should that continue, this company could have a bright future.
We Really Like Universal Logistics Holdings' Dividend
In summary, it is good to see that the dividend is staying consistent, and we don't think there is any reason to suspect this might change over the medium term. Distributions are quite easily covered by earnings, which are also being converted to cash flows. Taking this all into consideration, this looks like it could be a good dividend opportunity.
Market movements attest to how highly valued a consistent dividend policy is compared to one which is more unpredictable. Still, investors need to consider a host of other factors, apart from dividend payments, when analysing a company. For example, we've identified 3 warning signs for Universal Logistics Holdings (1 makes us a bit uncomfortable!) that you should be aware of before investing. If you are a dividend investor, you might also want to look at our curated list of high yield dividend stocks.
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