Hibbett, Inc. (NASDAQ:HIBB) is about to trade ex-dividend in the next 4 days. The ex-dividend date is usually set to be one business day before the record date which is the cut-off date on which you must be present on the company's books as a shareholder in order to receive the dividend. It is important to be aware of the ex-dividend date because any trade on the stock needs to have been settled on or before the record date. Therefore, if you purchase Hibbett's shares on or after the 6th of December, you won't be eligible to receive the dividend, when it is paid on the 19th of December.
The company's next dividend payment will be US$0.25 per share. Last year, in total, the company distributed US$1.00 to shareholders. Based on the last year's worth of payments, Hibbett has a trailing yield of 1.6% on the current stock price of $62.55. 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.
Dividends are usually paid out of company profits, so if a company pays out more than it earned then its dividend is usually at greater risk of being cut. Hibbett has a low and conservative payout ratio of just 11% of its income after tax. 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. Thankfully its dividend payments took up just 44% of the free cash flow it generated, which is a comfortable payout ratio.
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?
Stocks in companies that generate sustainable earnings growth often make the best dividend prospects, as it is easier to lift the dividend when earnings are rising. If earnings fall far enough, the company could be forced to cut its dividend. That's why it's comforting to see Hibbett's earnings have been skyrocketing, up 39% per annum for the past five years. Earnings per share have been growing very quickly, and the company is paying out a relatively low percentage of its profit and cash flow. Companies with growing earnings and low payout ratios are often the best long-term dividend stocks, as the company can both grow its earnings and increase the percentage of earnings that it pays out, essentially multiplying the dividend.
The main way most investors will assess a company's dividend prospects is by checking the historical rate of dividend growth. Hibbett's dividend payments are broadly unchanged compared to where they were two years ago.
The Bottom Line
Is Hibbett worth buying for its dividend? We love that Hibbett 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. Hibbett looks solid on this analysis overall, and we'd definitely consider investigating it more closely.
On that note, you'll want to research what risks Hibbett is facing. Our analysis shows 1 warning sign for Hibbett and you should be aware of it before buying any shares.
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.