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Pembina Pipeline Corporation (TSE:PPL) Is About To Go Ex-Dividend, And It Pays A 5.0% Yield

Regular readers will know that we love our dividends at Simply Wall St, which is why it's exciting to see Pembina Pipeline Corporation (TSE:PPL) is about to trade ex-dividend in the next 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. 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. Therefore, if you purchase Pembina Pipeline's shares on or after the 22nd of April, you won't be eligible to receive the dividend, when it is paid on the 13th of May.

The company's next dividend payment will be CA$0.21 per share, and in the last 12 months, the company paid a total of CA$2.52 per share. Looking at the last 12 months of distributions, Pembina Pipeline has a trailing yield of approximately 5.0% on its current stock price of CA$50.09. Dividends are a major contributor to investment returns for long term holders, but only if the dividend continues to be paid. We need to see whether the dividend is covered by earnings and if it's growing.

See our latest analysis for Pembina Pipeline

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. Pembina Pipeline distributed an unsustainably high 126% of its profit as dividends to shareholders last year. Without more sustainable payment behaviour, the dividend looks precarious. A useful secondary check can be to evaluate whether Pembina Pipeline generated enough free cash flow to afford its dividend. It paid out 77% of its free cash flow as dividends, which is within usual limits but will limit the company's ability to lift the dividend if there's no growth.

It's disappointing to see that the dividend was not covered by profits, but cash is more important from a dividend sustainability perspective, and Pembina Pipeline fortunately did generate enough cash to fund its dividend. Still, if the company repeatedly paid a dividend greater than its profits, we'd be concerned. Extraordinarily few companies are capable of persistently paying a dividend that is greater than their profits.

Click here to see the company's payout ratio, plus analyst estimates of its future dividends.

historic-dividend
historic-dividend

Have Earnings And Dividends Been Growing?

Stocks in companies that generate sustainable earnings growth often make the best dividend prospects, as it is easier to lift the dividend when earnings are rising. If earnings fall far enough, the company could be forced to cut its dividend. Fortunately for readers, Pembina Pipeline's earnings per share have been growing at 14% a year for the past five years.

Another key way to measure a company's dividend prospects is by measuring its historical rate of dividend growth. In the last 10 years, Pembina Pipeline has lifted its dividend by approximately 4.9% a year on average. Earnings per share have been growing much quicker than dividends, potentially because Pembina Pipeline is keeping back more of its profits to grow the business.

Final Takeaway

Should investors buy Pembina Pipeline for the upcoming dividend? Growing earnings per share and a normal cashflow payout ratio is an ok combination, but we're concerned that the company is paying out such a high percentage of its income as dividends. It might be worth researching if the company is reinvesting in growth projects that could grow earnings and dividends in the future, but for now we're not all that optimistic on its dividend prospects.

If you're not too concerned about Pembina Pipeline's ability to pay dividends, you should still be mindful of some of the other risks that this business faces. Every company has risks, and we've spotted 2 warning signs for Pembina Pipeline you should know about.

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.