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California Resources (NYSE:CRC) Could Be A Buy For Its Upcoming Dividend

Regular readers will know that we love our dividends at Simply Wall St, which is why it's exciting to see California Resources Corporation (NYSE:CRC) is about to trade ex-dividend in the next four days. The ex-dividend date is one business day before a company's record date, which is the date on which the company determines which shareholders are entitled to receive a dividend. 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. Thus, you can purchase California Resources' shares before the 31st of August in order to receive the dividend, which the company will pay on the 16th of September.

The company's next dividend payment will be US$0.17 per share. Last year, in total, the company distributed US$0.68 to shareholders. Looking at the last 12 months of distributions, California Resources has a trailing yield of approximately 1.3% on its current stock price of $50.71. 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 California Resources

If a company pays out more in dividends than it earned, then the dividend might become unsustainable - hardly an ideal situation. California Resources has a low and conservative payout ratio of just 4.9% of its income after tax. A useful secondary check can be to evaluate whether California Resources generated enough free cash flow to afford its dividend. What's good is that dividends were well covered by free cash flow, with the company paying out 9.7% of its cash flow last year.

It's positive to see that California Resources'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 strong growth prospects usually make the best dividend payers, because it's easier to grow dividends when earnings per share are improving. If earnings decline and the company is forced to cut its dividend, investors could watch the value of their investment go up in smoke. For this reason, we're glad to see California Resources's earnings per share have risen 10% per annum over the last five years. Earnings per share are growing rapidly and the company is keeping more than half of its earnings within the business; an attractive combination which could suggest the company is focused on reinvesting to grow earnings further. 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.

Given that California Resources has only been paying a dividend for a year, there's not much of a past history to draw insight from.

Final Takeaway

Is California Resources an attractive dividend stock, or better left on the shelf? California Resources has been growing earnings at a rapid rate, and has a conservatively low payout ratio, implying that it is reinvesting heavily in its business; a sterling combination. California Resources looks solid on this analysis overall, and we'd definitely consider investigating it more closely.

While it's tempting to invest in California Resources for the dividends alone, you should always be mindful of the risks involved. Our analysis shows 3 warning signs for California Resources that we strongly recommend you have a look at before investing in the company.

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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