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Whitecap Resources Inc. (TSE:WCP) Looks Like A Good Stock, And It's Going Ex-Dividend Soon

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 Whitecap Resources Inc. (TSE:WCP) is about to go ex-dividend in just 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. Accordingly, Whitecap Resources investors that purchase the stock on or after the 30th of March will not receive the dividend, which will be paid on the 17th of April.

The company's next dividend payment will be CA$0.048 per share, on the back of last year when the company paid a total of CA$0.44 to shareholders. Based on the last year's worth of payments, Whitecap Resources has a trailing yield of 5.7% on the current stock price of CA$10.15. Dividends are an important source of income to many shareholders, but the health of the business is crucial to maintaining those dividends. That's why we should always check whether the dividend payments appear sustainable, and if the company is growing.

View our latest analysis for Whitecap Resources

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. Whitecap Resources paid out just 14% 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 16% of its free cash flow in the last year.

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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.

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historic-dividend

Have Earnings And Dividends Been Growing?

Companies with consistently growing earnings per share generally make the best dividend stocks, as they usually find it easier to grow dividends per share. If earnings fall far enough, the company could be forced to cut its dividend. It's encouraging to see Whitecap Resources has grown its earnings rapidly, up 38% a year for the past five years. With earnings per share growing rapidly and the company sensibly reinvesting almost all of its profits within the business, Whitecap Resources looks like a promising growth company.

Many investors will assess a company's dividend performance by evaluating how much the dividend payments have changed over time. It looks like the Whitecap Resources dividends are largely the same as they were 10 years ago.

The Bottom Line

Has Whitecap Resources got what it takes to maintain its dividend payments? We love that Whitecap Resources is growing earnings per share while simultaneously paying out a low percentage of both its earnings and cash flow. These characteristics suggest the company is reinvesting in growing its business, while the conservative payout ratio also implies a reduced risk of the dividend being cut in the future. There's a lot to like about Whitecap Resources, and we would prioritise taking a closer look at it.

So while Whitecap Resources looks good from a dividend perspective, it's always worthwhile being up to date with the risks involved in this stock. For example, Whitecap Resources has 2 warning signs (and 1 which is a bit unpleasant) we think you should know about.

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) 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.

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