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Three Days Left Until World Fuel Services Corporation (NYSE:INT) Trades Ex-Dividend

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Some investors rely on dividends for growing their wealth, and if you're one of those dividend sleuths, you might be intrigued to know that World Fuel Services Corporation (NYSE:INT) is about to go ex-dividend in just 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 important as the process of settlement involves two full business days. So if you miss that date, you would not show up on the company's books on the record date. Thus, you can purchase World Fuel Services' shares before the 16th of September in order to receive the dividend, which the company will pay on the 8th of October.

The company's next dividend payment will be US$0.12 per share. Last year, in total, the company distributed US$0.48 to shareholders. Last year's total dividend payments show that World Fuel Services has a trailing yield of 1.5% on the current share price of $32.68. Dividends are an important source of income to many shareholders, but the health of the business is crucial to maintaining those dividends. So we need to investigate whether World Fuel Services can afford its dividend, and if the dividend could grow.

Check out our latest analysis for World Fuel Services

If a company pays out more in dividends than it earned, then the dividend might become unsustainable - hardly an ideal situation. World Fuel Services paid out just 24% of its profit last year, which we think is conservatively low and leaves plenty of margin for unexpected circumstances. Yet cash flow is typically more important than profit for assessing dividend sustainability, so we should always check if the company generated enough cash to afford its dividend. The good news is it paid out just 5.6% of its free cash flow in the last year.

It's positive to see that World Fuel Services'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.

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?

Businesses with shrinking earnings are tricky from a dividend perspective. 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 World Fuel Services's earnings per share have dropped 6.1% a year over the past five years. When earnings per share fall, the maximum amount of dividends that can be paid also falls.

Many investors will assess a company's dividend performance by evaluating how much the dividend payments have changed over time. Since the start of our data, 10 years ago, World Fuel Services has lifted its dividend by approximately 12% a year on average.

The Bottom Line

From a dividend perspective, should investors buy or avoid World Fuel Services? 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. In summary, it's hard to get excited about World Fuel Services from a dividend perspective.

While it's tempting to invest in World Fuel Services for the dividends alone, you should always be mindful of the risks involved. Every company has risks, and we've spotted 2 warning signs for World Fuel Services you should know about.

If you're in the market for dividend stocks, we recommend checking our list of top 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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