- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
AmerisourceBergen Corporation (NYSE:ABC) is about to trade ex-dividend in the next three 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. The ex-dividend date is an important date to be aware of as any purchase of the stock made on or after this date might mean a late settlement that doesn't show on the record date. In other words, investors can purchase AmerisourceBergen's shares before the 12th of November in order to be eligible for the dividend, which will be paid on the 29th of November.
The company's next dividend payment will be US$0.46 per share, and in the last 12 months, the company paid a total of US$1.84 per share. Based on the last year's worth of payments, AmerisourceBergen stock has a trailing yield of around 1.4% on the current share price of $127.57. 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! We need to see whether the dividend is covered by earnings and if it's 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. AmerisourceBergen is paying out just 24% of its profit after tax, which is comfortably low and leaves plenty of breathing room in the case of adverse events. That said, even highly profitable companies sometimes might not generate enough cash to pay the dividend, which is why we should always check if the dividend is covered by cash flow. The good news is it paid out just 16% of its free cash flow in the last year.
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?
Stocks with flat earnings can still be attractive dividend payers, but it is important to be more conservative with your approach and demand a greater margin for safety when it comes to dividend sustainability. If business enters a downturn and the dividend is cut, the company could see its value fall precipitously. It's not encouraging to see that AmerisourceBergen's earnings are effectively flat over the past five years. Better than seeing them fall off a cliff, for sure, but the best dividend stocks grow their earnings meaningfully over the long run. AmerisourceBergen is retaining more than three-quarters of its earnings and has a history of generating some growth in earnings. We think this is a reasonable combination.
Many investors will assess a company's dividend performance by evaluating how much the dividend payments have changed over time. AmerisourceBergen has delivered an average of 16% per year annual increase in its dividend, based on the past 10 years of dividend payments.
To Sum It Up
From a dividend perspective, should investors buy or avoid AmerisourceBergen? Earnings per share have been flat over this time, but we're intrigued to see that AmerisourceBergen is paying out less than half its earnings and cash flow as dividends. This is interesting for a few reasons, as it suggests management may be reinvesting heavily in the business, but it also provides room to increase the dividend in time. Generally we like to see both low payout ratios and strong earnings per share growth, but AmerisourceBergen is halfway there. Overall we think this is an attractive combination and worthy of further research.
While it's tempting to invest in AmerisourceBergen for the dividends alone, you should always be mindful of the risks involved. Our analysis shows 1 warning sign for AmerisourceBergen and you should be aware of this before buying any 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.
Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.