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Some investors rely on dividends for growing their wealth, and if you're one of those dividend sleuths, you might be intrigued to know that CIMIC Group Limited (ASX:CIM) is about to go ex-dividend in just 4 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. Therefore, if you purchase CIMIC Group's shares on or after the 15th of September, you won't be eligible to receive the dividend, when it is paid on the 7th of October.
The company's next dividend payment will be AU$0.42 per share, on the back of last year when the company paid a total of AU$1.02 to shareholders. Last year's total dividend payments show that CIMIC Group has a trailing yield of 4.8% on the current share price of A$21.33. Dividends are a major contributor to investment returns for long term holders, but only if the dividend continues to be paid. That's why we should always check whether the dividend payments appear sustainable, and if the company is growing.
Dividends are typically paid from company earnings. If a company pays more in dividends than it earned in profit, then the dividend could be unsustainable. CIMIC Group reported a loss last year, so it's not great to see that it has continued paying a dividend. CIMIC Group paid a dividend despite reporting negative free cash flow last year. That's typically a bad combination and - if this were more than a one-off - not sustainable.
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. CIMIC Group reported a loss last year, and the general trend suggests its earnings have also been declining in recent years, making us wonder if the dividend is at risk.
Many investors will assess a company's dividend performance by evaluating how much the dividend payments have changed over time. CIMIC Group has seen its dividend decline 3.5% per annum on average over the past 10 years, which is not great to see. It's never nice to see earnings and dividends falling, but at least management has cut the dividend rather than potentially risk the company's health in an attempt to maintain it.
Remember, you can always get a snapshot of CIMIC Group's financial health, by checking our visualisation of its financial health, here.
Is CIMIC Group an attractive dividend stock, or better left on the shelf? CIMIC Group doesn't appear to have a lot going for it, and we're not inclined to take a risk on owning it for the dividend.
Having said that, if you're looking at this stock without much concern for the dividend, you should still be familiar of the risks involved with CIMIC Group. To help with this, we've discovered 2 warning signs for CIMIC Group (1 is concerning!) that you ought to be aware of before buying the shares.
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. 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.
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