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Why You Might Be Interested In Principal Financial Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:PFG) For Its Upcoming Dividend

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 Principal Financial Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:PFG) is about to go ex-dividend in just 4 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 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. In other words, investors can purchase Principal Financial Group's shares before the 14th of March in order to be eligible for the dividend, which will be paid on the 31st of March.

The company's next dividend payment will be US$0.64 per share, on the back of last year when the company paid a total of US$2.56 to shareholders. Based on the last year's worth of payments, Principal Financial Group has a trailing yield of 3.1% on the current stock price of $83.23. Dividends are a major contributor to investment returns for long term holders, but only if the dividend continues to be paid. That's why we should always check whether the dividend payments appear sustainable, and if the company is growing.

Check out our latest analysis for Principal Financial Group

If a company pays out more in dividends than it earned, then the dividend might become unsustainable - hardly an ideal situation. Principal Financial Group is paying out just 13% of its profit after tax, which is comfortably low and leaves plenty of breathing room in the case of adverse events.

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Companies that pay out less in dividends than they earn in profits generally have more sustainable dividends. The lower the payout ratio, the more wiggle room the business has before it could be forced to cut the dividend.

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

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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 decline and the company is forced to cut its dividend, investors could watch the value of their investment go up in smoke. For this reason, we're glad to see Principal Financial Group's earnings per share have risen 20% per annum over the last five years.

Many investors will assess a company's dividend performance by evaluating how much the dividend payments have changed over time. In the last 10 years, Principal Financial Group has lifted its dividend by approximately 14% a year on average. It's great to see earnings per share growing rapidly over several years, and dividends per share growing right along with it.

Final Takeaway

Has Principal Financial Group got what it takes to maintain its dividend payments? Typically, companies that are growing rapidly and paying out a low fraction of earnings are keeping the profits for reinvestment in the business. This is one of the most attractive investment combinations under this analysis, as it can create substantial value for investors over the long run. We think this is a pretty attractive combination, and would be interested in investigating Principal Financial Group more closely.

In light of that, while Principal Financial Group has an appealing dividend, it's worth knowing the risks involved with this stock. In terms of investment risks, we've identified 1 warning sign with Principal Financial Group and understanding them should be part of your investment process.

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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