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Dividend Investors: Don't Be Too Quick To Buy Centrepoint Alliance Limited (ASX:CAF) For Its Upcoming Dividend

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It looks like Centrepoint Alliance Limited (ASX:CAF) is about to go ex-dividend in the next 4 days. The ex-dividend date is one business day before a company's record date, which is the date on which the company determines which shareholders are entitled to receive a dividend. The ex-dividend date is important because any transaction on a stock needs to have been settled before the record date in order to be eligible for a dividend. In other words, investors can purchase Centrepoint Alliance's shares before the 23rd of September in order to be eligible for the dividend, which will be paid on the 8th of October.

The company's next dividend payment will be AU$0.01 per share, on the back of last year when the company paid a total of AU$0.02 to shareholders. Based on the last year's worth of payments, Centrepoint Alliance stock has a trailing yield of around 7.4% on the current share price of A$0.27. 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 investigate whether Centrepoint Alliance can afford its dividend, and if the dividend could grow.

Check out our latest analysis for Centrepoint Alliance

Dividends are usually paid out of company profits, so if a company pays out more than it earned then its dividend is usually at greater risk of being cut. Centrepoint Alliance paid out 156% of profit in the past year, which we think is typically not sustainable unless there are mitigating characteristics such as unusually strong cash flow or a large cash balance.

When a company pays out a dividend that is not well covered by profits, the dividend is generally seen as more vulnerable to being cut.

Click here to see how much of its profit Centrepoint Alliance paid out over the last 12 months.

historic-dividend
historic-dividend

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. Readers will understand then, why we're concerned to see Centrepoint Alliance's earnings per share have dropped 7.6% a year over the past five years. Such a sharp decline casts doubt on the future sustainability of the dividend.

The main way most investors will assess a company's dividend prospects is by checking the historical rate of dividend growth. Centrepoint Alliance's dividend payments per share have declined at 1.4% per year on average over the past seven years, which is uninspiring.

Final Takeaway

Is Centrepoint Alliance worth buying for its dividend? Earnings per share are in decline and Centrepoint Alliance is paying out what we feel is an uncomfortably high percentage of its profit as dividends. Generally we think dividend investors should avoid businesses in this situation, as high payout ratios and declining earnings can lead to the dividend being cut. Centrepoint Alliance 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.

So if you're still interested in Centrepoint Alliance despite it's poor dividend qualities, you should be well informed on some of the risks facing this stock. For instance, we've identified 3 warning signs for Centrepoint Alliance (1 is concerning) you should be aware of.

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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

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