Regular readers will know that we love our dividends at Simply Wall St, which is why it's exciting to see The Timken Company ( NYSE:TKR ) is about to trade ex-dividend in the next 3 days. You can purchase shares before the 20th of August in order to receive the dividend, which the company will pay on the 4th of September.
Timken's next dividend payment will be US$0.28 per share, and in the last 12 months, the company paid a total of US$1.12 per share. Based on the last year's worth of payments, Timken stock has a trailing yield of around 2.8% on the current share price of $39.42. 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! 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. That's why it's good to see Timken paying out a modest 27% of its earnings. A useful secondary check can be to evaluate whether Timken generated enough free cash flow to afford its dividend. It paid out 23% of its free cash flow as dividends last year, which is conservatively low.
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.
Have Earnings And Dividends Been Growing?
Businesses with strong growth prospects usually make the best dividend payers, because it's easier to grow dividends when earnings per share are improving. If earnings fall far enough, the company could be forced to cut its dividend. Fortunately for readers, Timken's earnings per share have been growing at 18% a year for the past five years. The company has managed to grow earnings at a rapid rate, while reinvesting most of the profits within the business. This will make it easier to fund future growth efforts and we think this is an attractive combination - plus the dividend can always be increased later.
The main way most investors will assess a company's dividend prospects is by checking the historical rate of dividend growth. Timken has delivered 4.5% dividend growth per year on average over the past 10 years. Earnings per share have been growing much quicker than dividends, potentially because Timken is keeping back more of its profits to grow the business.
The Bottom Line
Is Timken an attractive dividend stock, or better left on the shelf? It's great that Timken is growing earnings per share while simultaneously paying out a low percentage of both its earnings and cash flow. It's disappointing to see the dividend has been cut at least once in the past, but as things stand now, the low payout ratio suggests a conservative approach to dividends, which we like. It's a promising combination that should mark this company worthy of closer attention.
Curious what other investors think of Timken? See what analysts are forecasting, with this visualisation of its historical and future estimated earnings and cash flow .
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.
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If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.com . 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. Thank you for reading.