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CTI Logistics Limited (ASX:CLX) is about to trade ex-dividend in the next four days. The ex-dividend date is usually set to be one business day before the record date which is the cut-off date on which you must be present on the company's books as a shareholder in order to receive the dividend. The ex-dividend date is of consequence because whenever a stock is bought or sold, the trade takes at least two business day to settle. Meaning, you will need to purchase CTI Logistics' shares before the 27th of October to receive the dividend, which will be paid on the 12th of November.
The company's upcoming dividend is AU$0.02 a share, following on from the last 12 months, when the company distributed a total of AU$0.04 per share to shareholders. Looking at the last 12 months of distributions, CTI Logistics has a trailing yield of approximately 3.9% on its current stock price of A$1.025. 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. That's why it's good to see CTI Logistics paying out a modest 37% of its earnings. A useful secondary check can be to evaluate whether CTI Logistics generated enough free cash flow to afford its dividend. Luckily it paid out just 5.2% of its free cash flow last year.
It's positive to see that CTI Logistics'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?
Companies with falling earnings are riskier for dividend shareholders. If earnings decline and the company is forced to cut its dividend, investors could watch the value of their investment go up in smoke. CTI Logistics's earnings per share have fallen at approximately 18% a year over the previous 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. CTI Logistics's dividend payments per share have declined at 2.2% per year on average over the past 10 years, which is uninspiring. While it's not great that earnings and dividends per share have fallen in recent years, we're encouraged by the fact that management has trimmed the dividend rather than risk over-committing the company in a risky attempt to maintain yields to shareholders.
Has CTI Logistics got what it takes to maintain its dividend payments? Earnings per share are down meaningfully, although at least the company is paying out a low and conservative percentage of both its earnings and cash flow. It's definitely not great to see earnings falling, but at least there may be some buffer before the dividend needs to be cut. To summarise, CTI Logistics looks okay on this analysis, although it doesn't appear a stand-out opportunity.
On that note, you'll want to research what risks CTI Logistics is facing. We've identified 4 warning signs with CTI Logistics (at least 1 which is concerning), and understanding these should be part of your investment process.
We wouldn't recommend just buying the first dividend stock you see, though. Here's a list of interesting 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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