It looks like KLA Corporation (NASDAQ:KLAC) is about to go ex-dividend in the next 3 days. The ex-dividend date occurs one day before the record date which is the day on which shareholders need to be on the company's books in order 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. In other words, investors can purchase KLA's shares before the 14th of November in order to be eligible for the dividend, which will be paid on the 1st of December.
The company's upcoming dividend is US$1.30 a share, following on from the last 12 months, when the company distributed a total of US$5.20 per share to shareholders. Looking at the last 12 months of distributions, KLA has a trailing yield of approximately 1.5% on its current stock price of $337.52. 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! As a result, readers should always check whether KLA has been able to grow its dividends, or if the dividend might be cut.
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. KLA is paying out just 20% of its profit after tax, which is comfortably low and leaves plenty of breathing room in the case of adverse events. That said, even highly profitable companies sometimes might not generate enough cash to pay the dividend, which is why we should always check if the dividend is covered by cash flow. It paid out 21% 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 business enters a downturn and the dividend is cut, the company could see its value fall precipitously. That's why it's comforting to see KLA's earnings have been skyrocketing, up 31% per annum for the past five years. KLA earnings per share have been sprinting ahead like the Road Runner at a track and field day; scarcely stopping even for a cheeky "beep-beep". We also like that it is reinvesting most of its profits in its business.'
The main way most investors will assess a company's dividend prospects is by checking the historical rate of dividend growth. KLA has delivered 14% dividend growth per year on average over the past 10 years. Both per-share earnings and dividends have both been growing rapidly in recent times, which is great to see.
Is KLA worth buying for its dividend? KLA 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. Overall we think this is an attractive combination and worthy of further research.
In light of that, while KLA has an appealing dividend, it's worth knowing the risks involved with this stock. For example - KLA has 2 warning signs we think you should be aware of.
If you're in the market for strong dividend payers, we recommend checking our selection of top dividend stocks.
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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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