Readers hoping to buy Zurich Insurance Group AG (VTX:ZURN) for its dividend will need to make their move shortly, as the stock is about to trade ex-dividend. If you purchase the stock on or after the 3rd of April, you won't be eligible to receive this dividend, when it is paid on the 7th of April.
Zurich Insurance Group's next dividend payment will be CHF20.00 per share, and in the last 12 months, the company paid a total of CHF20.30 per share. Based on the last year's worth of payments, Zurich Insurance Group has a trailing yield of 6.0% on the current stock price of CHF323.4. Dividends are a major contributor to investment returns for long term holders, but only if the dividend continues to be paid. So we need to check whether the dividend payments are covered, and if earnings are growing.
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. Zurich Insurance Group paid out 74% of its earnings to investors last year, a normal payout level for most businesses.
When a company paid out less in dividends than it earned in profit, this generally suggests its dividend is affordable. The lower the % of its profit that it pays out, the greater the margin of safety for the dividend if the business enters a downturn.
Have Earnings And Dividends Been Growing?
Companies that aren't growing their earnings can still be valuable, but it is even more important to assess the sustainability of the dividend if it looks like the company will struggle to grow. If earnings decline and the company is forced to cut its dividend, investors could watch the value of their investment go up in smoke. It's not encouraging to see that Zurich Insurance Group's earnings are effectively flat over the past five years. Better than seeing them fall off a cliff, for sure, but the best dividend stocks grow their earnings meaningfully over the long run.
Another key way to measure a company's dividend prospects is by measuring its historical rate of dividend growth. Since the start of our data, ten years ago, Zurich Insurance Group has lifted its dividend by approximately 4.0% a year on average.
To Sum It Up
Is Zurich Insurance Group an attractive dividend stock, or better left on the shelf? Zurich Insurance Group has been struggling to generate growth while also paying out more than half of its earnings to shareholders as dividends. At best we would put it on a watch-list to see if business conditions improve, as it doesn't look like a clear opportunity right now.
However if you're still interested in Zurich Insurance Group as a potential investment, you should definitely consider some of the risks involved with Zurich Insurance Group. For example - Zurich Insurance Group has 1 warning sign we think you should be aware of.
A common investment mistake is buying the first interesting stock you see. Here you can find a list of promising dividend stocks with a greater than 2% yield and an upcoming dividend.
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned.
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