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Is It Smart To Buy Parker-Hannifin Corporation (NYSE:PH) Before It Goes Ex-Dividend?

Parker-Hannifin Corporation (NYSE:PH) is about to trade ex-dividend in the next four days. The ex-dividend date is one business day before the record date, which is the cut-off date for shareholders to be present on the company's books to be eligible for a dividend payment. 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 Parker-Hannifin's shares before the 11th of May in order to be eligible for the dividend, which will be paid on the 2nd of June.

The company's next dividend payment will be US$1.48 per share, on the back of last year when the company paid a total of US$5.32 to shareholders. Looking at the last 12 months of distributions, Parker-Hannifin has a trailing yield of approximately 1.6% on its current stock price of $333.3. 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.

See our latest analysis for Parker-Hannifin

If a company pays out more in dividends than it earned, then the dividend might become unsustainable - hardly an ideal situation. Parker-Hannifin paid out a comfortable 45% of its profit last year. Yet cash flows are even more important than profits for assessing a dividend, so we need to see if the company generated enough cash to pay its distribution. Fortunately, it paid out only 29% of its free cash flow in the past 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.

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


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 decline and the company is forced to cut its dividend, investors could watch the value of their investment go up in smoke. This is why it's a relief to see Parker-Hannifin earnings per share are up 9.7% per annum over the last five years. Management have been reinvested more than half of the company's earnings within the business, and the company has been able to grow earnings with this retained capital. We think this is generally an attractive combination, as dividends can grow through a combination of earnings growth and or a higher payout ratio over time.

Another key way to measure a company's dividend prospects is by measuring its historical rate of dividend growth. Parker-Hannifin has delivered an average of 12% per year annual increase in its dividend, based on the past 10 years of dividend payments. It's encouraging to see the company lifting dividends while earnings are growing, suggesting at least some corporate interest in rewarding shareholders.

Final Takeaway

Is Parker-Hannifin an attractive dividend stock, or better left on the shelf? Earnings per share growth has been growing somewhat, and Parker-Hannifin 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. We would prefer to see earnings growing faster, but the best dividend stocks over the long term typically combine significant earnings per share growth with a low payout ratio, and Parker-Hannifin is halfway there. Overall we think this is an attractive combination and worthy of further research.

With that in mind, a critical part of thorough stock research is being aware of any risks that stock currently faces. For example - Parker-Hannifin has 3 warning signs we think you should be aware of.

Generally, we wouldn't recommend just buying the first dividend stock you see. Here's a curated list of interesting stocks that are strong dividend payers.

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

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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