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Is It Smart To Buy LCI Industries (NYSE:LCII) Before It Goes Ex-Dividend?

Readers hoping to buy LCI Industries (NYSE:LCII) for its dividend will need to make their move shortly, as the stock is about to trade ex-dividend. 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. The ex-dividend date is important because any transaction on a stock needs to have been settled before the record date in order to be eligible for a dividend. This means that investors who purchase LCI Industries' shares on or after the 1st of December will not receive the dividend, which will be paid on the 16th of December.

The company's upcoming dividend is US$1.05 a share, following on from the last 12 months, when the company distributed a total of US$4.20 per share to shareholders. Calculating the last year's worth of payments shows that LCI Industries has a trailing yield of 4.2% on the current share price of $101.14. 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 investigate whether LCI Industries can afford its dividend, and if the dividend could grow.

Check out our latest analysis for LCI Industries

Dividends are typically paid out of company income, so if a company pays out more than it earned, its dividend is usually at a higher risk of being cut. LCI Industries has a low and conservative payout ratio of just 20% of its income after tax. 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 distributed 42% of its free cash flow as dividends, a comfortable payout level for most companies.

It's positive to see that LCI Industries'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?

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. Investors love dividends, so if earnings fall and the dividend is reduced, expect a stock to be sold off heavily at the same time. It's encouraging to see LCI Industries has grown its earnings rapidly, up 30% a year for the past five years. LCI Industries is paying out less than half its earnings and cash flow, while simultaneously growing earnings per share at a rapid clip. 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. LCI Industries has delivered an average of 8.6% per year annual increase in its dividend, based on the past nine years of dividend payments. It's encouraging to see the company lifting dividends while earnings are growing, suggesting at least some corporate interest in rewarding shareholders.

Final Takeaway

Has LCI Industries got what it takes to maintain its dividend payments? LCI Industries 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. LCI Industries looks solid on this analysis overall, and we'd definitely consider investigating it more closely.

In light of that, while LCI Industries has an appealing dividend, it's worth knowing the risks involved with this stock. To that end, you should learn about the 3 warning signs we've spotted with LCI Industries (including 1 which is significant).

A common investing mistake is buying the first interesting stock you see. Here you can find a full list of high-yield 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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