Readers hoping to buy Castings P.L.C. (LON:CGS) for its dividend will need to make their move shortly, as the stock is about to trade ex-dividend. Investors can purchase shares before the 16th of July in order to be eligible for this dividend, which will be paid on the 17th of August.
Castings's next dividend payment will be UK£0.11 per share, and in the last 12 months, the company paid a total of UK£0.15 per share. Based on the last year's worth of payments, Castings has a trailing yield of 4.0% on the current stock price of £3.72. We love seeing companies pay a dividend, but it's also important to be sure that laying the golden eggs isn't going to kill our golden goose! 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. Castings paid out 64% of its earnings to investors last year, a normal payout level for most businesses. Yet cash flow is typically more important than profit for assessing dividend sustainability, so we should always check if the company generated enough cash to afford its dividend. Thankfully its dividend payments took up just 44% of the free cash flow it generated, which is a comfortable payout ratio.
It's positive to see that Castings'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?
Businesses with shrinking earnings are tricky from a dividend perspective. If earnings decline and the company is forced to cut its dividend, investors could watch the value of their investment go up in smoke. Readers will understand then, why we're concerned to see Castings's earnings per share have dropped 6.2% a year over the past five years. Ultimately, when earnings per share decline, the size of the pie from which dividends can be paid, shrinks.
The main way most investors will assess a company's dividend prospects is by checking the historical rate of dividend growth. In the last ten years, Castings has lifted its dividend by approximately 4.1% a year on average. Growing the dividend payout ratio while earnings are declining can deliver nice returns for a while, but it's always worth checking for when the company can't increase the payout ratio any more - because then the music stops.
To Sum It Up
Has Castings got what it takes to maintain its dividend payments? The payout ratios are within a reasonable range, implying the dividend may be sustainable. Declining earnings are a serious concern, however, and could pose a threat to the dividend in future. In summary, it's hard to get excited about Castings from a dividend perspective.
With that being said, if dividends aren't your biggest concern with Castings, you should know about the other risks facing this business. Case in point: We've spotted 1 warning sign for Castings you should be aware of.
A common investment mistake is buying the first interesting stock you see. Here you can find a list of promising dividend stocks with a greater than 2% yield and an upcoming dividend.
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.
Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email email@example.com.