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Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) Pays A US$0.64 Dividend In Just Four Days

·4-min read

Some investors rely on dividends for growing their wealth, and if you're one of those dividend sleuths, you might be intrigued to know that Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) is about to go ex-dividend in just 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. The ex-dividend date is important as the process of settlement involves two full business days. So if you miss that date, you would not show up on the company's books on the record date. Meaning, you will need to purchase Verizon Communications' shares before the 7th of July to receive the dividend, which will be paid on the 1st of August.

The company's next dividend payment will be US$0.64 per share. Last year, in total, the company distributed US$2.56 to shareholders. Based on the last year's worth of payments, Verizon Communications has a trailing yield of 5.0% on the current stock price of $51.64. 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 Verizon Communications can afford its dividend, and if the dividend could grow.

View our latest analysis for Verizon Communications

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. Verizon Communications paid out a comfortable 50% of its profit last year. 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. The company paid out 101% of its free cash flow over the last year, which we think is outside the ideal range for most businesses. Cash flows are usually much more volatile than earnings, so this could be a temporary effect - but we'd generally want to look more closely here.

While Verizon Communications'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. Cash is king, as they say, and were Verizon Communications to repeatedly pay dividends that aren't well covered by cashflow, we would consider this a warning sign.

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?

Companies with consistently growing earnings per share generally make the best dividend stocks, as they usually find it easier to grow dividends per share. If earnings fall far enough, the company could be forced to cut its dividend. This is why it's a relief to see Verizon Communications earnings per share are up 9.6% per annum over the last five years. Earnings have been growing at a steady rate, but we're concerned dividend payments consumed most of the company's cash flow over the past year.

Another key way to measure a company's dividend prospects is by measuring its historical rate of dividend growth. In the last 10 years, Verizon Communications has lifted its dividend by approximately 2.5% a year on average. It's encouraging to see the company lifting dividends while earnings are growing, suggesting at least some corporate interest in rewarding shareholders.

To Sum It Up

From a dividend perspective, should investors buy or avoid Verizon Communications? Verizon Communications delivered reasonable earnings per share growth in recent times, and paid out less than half its profits and 101% of its cash flow over the last year, which is a mediocre outcome. In summary, it's hard to get excited about Verizon Communications from a dividend perspective.

However if you're still interested in Verizon Communications as a potential investment, you should definitely consider some of the risks involved with Verizon Communications. Case in point: We've spotted 3 warning signs for Verizon Communications you should be aware of.

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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