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Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) Is About To Go Ex-Dividend, And It Pays A 2.0% Yield

Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) stock is about to trade ex-dividend in 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 important because any transaction on a stock needs to have been settled before the record date in order to be eligible for a dividend. Thus, you can purchase Starbucks' shares before the 11th of May in order to receive the dividend, which the company will pay on the 26th of May.

The company's next dividend payment will be US$0.53 per share, and in the last 12 months, the company paid a total of US$2.12 per share. Looking at the last 12 months of distributions, Starbucks has a trailing yield of approximately 2.0% on its current stock price of $107.21. Dividends are an important source of income to many shareholders, but the health of the business is crucial to maintaining those dividends. So we need to check whether the dividend payments are covered, and if earnings are growing.

View our latest analysis for Starbucks

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. Starbucks paid out more than half (67%) of its earnings last year, which is a regular payout ratio for most companies. A useful secondary check can be to evaluate whether Starbucks generated enough free cash flow to afford its dividend. Over the last year, it paid out more than three-quarters (85%) of its free cash flow generated, which is fairly high and may be starting to limit reinvestment in the business.

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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.

Click here to see the company's payout ratio, plus analyst estimates of its future dividends.

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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. If business enters a downturn and the dividend is cut, the company could see its value fall precipitously. This is why it's a relief to see Starbucks earnings per share are up 9.3% per annum over the last five years. Decent historical earnings per share growth suggests Starbucks has been effectively growing value for shareholders. However, it's now paying out more than half its earnings as dividends. If management lifts the payout ratio further, we'd take this as a tacit signal that the company's growth prospects are slowing.

The main way most investors will assess a company's dividend prospects is by checking the historical rate of dividend growth. In the past 10 years, Starbucks has increased its dividend at approximately 20% a year on average. We're glad to see dividends rising alongside earnings over a number of years, which may be a sign the company intends to share the growth with shareholders.

Final Takeaway

Is Starbucks an attractive dividend stock, or better left on the shelf? Earnings per share growth has been unremarkable, and while the company is paying out a majority of its earnings and cash flow in the form of dividends, the dividend payments don't appear excessive. Overall, it's hard to get excited about Starbucks from a dividend perspective.

However if you're still interested in Starbucks as a potential investment, you should definitely consider some of the risks involved with Starbucks. For example, we've found 3 warning signs for Starbucks (2 make us uncomfortable!) that deserve your attention before investing in the 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.

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