Emerson Electric Co. (NYSE:EMR) stock is about to trade ex-dividend in 3 days. Typically, the ex-dividend date is one business day before the record date which is the date on which a company determines the shareholders eligible to receive a dividend. It is important to be aware of the ex-dividend date because any trade on the stock needs to have been settled on or before the record date. In other words, investors can purchase Emerson Electric's shares before the 11th of August in order to be eligible for the dividend, which will be paid on the 9th of September.
The company's upcoming dividend is US$0.52 a share, following on from the last 12 months, when the company distributed a total of US$2.06 per share to shareholders. Last year's total dividend payments show that Emerson Electric has a trailing yield of 2.3% on the current share price of $90.39. Dividends are an important source of income to many shareholders, but the health of the business is crucial to maintaining those dividends. As a result, readers should always check whether Emerson Electric has been able to grow its dividends, or if the dividend might be cut.
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. That's why it's good to see Emerson Electric paying out a modest 42% of its earnings. 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. It paid out more than half (52%) of its free cash flow in the past year, which is within an average range for most companies.
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 earnings fall far enough, the company could be forced to cut its dividend. For this reason, we're glad to see Emerson Electric's earnings per share have risen 14% per annum over the last five years. Emerson Electric is paying out a bit over half its earnings, which suggests the company is striking a balance between reinvesting in growth, and paying dividends. Given the quick rate of earnings per share growth and current level of payout, there may be a chance of further dividend increases in the future.
The main way most investors will assess a company's dividend prospects is by checking the historical rate of dividend growth. In the last 10 years, Emerson Electric has lifted its dividend by approximately 2.6% a year on average. Earnings per share have been growing much quicker than dividends, potentially because Emerson Electric is keeping back more of its profits to grow the business.
To Sum It Up
Should investors buy Emerson Electric for the upcoming dividend? From a dividend perspective, we're encouraged to see that earnings per share have been growing, the company is paying out less than half of its earnings, and a bit over half its free cash flow. Overall we think this is an attractive combination and worthy of further research.
Curious what other investors think of Emerson Electric? See what analysts are forecasting, with this visualisation of its historical and future estimated earnings and cash flow.
A common investing mistake is buying the first interesting stock you see. Here you can find a full list of high-yield dividend stocks.
Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.
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.
Join A Paid User Research Session
You’ll receive a US$30 Amazon Gift card for 1 hour of your time while helping us build better investing tools for the individual investors like yourself. Sign up here