Readers hoping to buy Strix Group Plc (LON:KETL) for its dividend will need to make their move shortly, as the stock is about to trade ex-dividend. The ex-dividend date is one business day before the record date, which is the cut-off date for shareholders to be present on the company's books to be eligible for a dividend payment. 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. Therefore, if you purchase Strix Group's shares on or after the 6th of October, you won't be eligible to receive the dividend, when it is paid on the 28th of October.
The company's next dividend payment will be UK£0.028 per share, on the back of last year when the company paid a total of UK£0.084 to shareholders. Looking at the last 12 months of distributions, Strix Group has a trailing yield of approximately 6.8% on its current stock price of £1.23. If you buy this business for its dividend, you should have an idea of whether Strix Group's dividend is reliable and sustainable. That's why we should always check whether the dividend payments appear sustainable, and if the company is 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. It paid out 83% of its earnings as dividends last year, which is not unreasonable, but limits reinvestment in the business and leaves the dividend vulnerable to a business downturn. It could become a concern if earnings started to decline. A useful secondary check can be to evaluate whether Strix Group generated enough free cash flow to afford its dividend. It paid out an unsustainably high 247% of its free cash flow as dividends over the past 12 months, which is worrying. It's pretty hard to pay out more than you earn, so we wonder how Strix Group intends to continue funding this dividend, or if it could be forced to cut the payment.
While Strix Group's dividends were covered by the company's reported profits, cash is somewhat more important, so it's not great to see that the company didn't generate enough cash to pay its dividend. Were this to happen repeatedly, this would be a risk to Strix Group's ability to maintain its dividend.
Have Earnings And Dividends Been Growing?
Companies with falling earnings are riskier for dividend shareholders. If earnings fall far enough, the company could be forced to cut its dividend. So we're not too excited that Strix Group's earnings are down 2.9% a year over the past five years.
The main way most investors will assess a company's dividend prospects is by checking the historical rate of dividend growth. Since the start of our data, five years ago, Strix Group has lifted its dividend by approximately 3.6% a year on average. That's intriguing, but the combination of growing dividends despite declining earnings can typically only be achieved by paying out a larger percentage of profits. Strix Group is already paying out a high percentage of its income, so without earnings growth, we're doubtful of whether this dividend will grow much in the future.
The Bottom Line
From a dividend perspective, should investors buy or avoid Strix Group? It's definitely not great to see earnings per share shrinking. The company paid out an acceptable percentage of its income, but an uncomfortably high percentage of its cash flow over the past year. It's not that we think Strix Group is a bad company, but these characteristics don't generally lead to outstanding dividend performance.
Although, if you're still interested in Strix Group and want to know more, you'll find it very useful to know what risks this stock faces. Our analysis shows 4 warning signs for Strix Group and you should be aware of them before buying any shares.
If you're in the market for strong dividend payers, we recommend checking our selection of top dividend stocks.
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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