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 Royal Gold, Inc. (NASDAQ:RGLD) is about to go ex-dividend in just four days. Investors can purchase shares before the 1st of October in order to be eligible for this dividend, which will be paid on the 16th of October.
Royal Gold's next dividend payment will be US$0.28 per share. Last year, in total, the company distributed US$1.12 to shareholders. Based on the last year's worth of payments, Royal Gold has a trailing yield of 0.9% on the current stock price of $118.08. If you buy this business for its dividend, you should have an idea of whether Royal Gold's dividend is reliable and sustainable. We need to see whether the dividend is covered by earnings and if it's growing.
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. Fortunately Royal Gold's payout ratio is modest, at just 37% of profit. 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. It distributed 39% of its free cash flow as dividends, a comfortable payout level for most companies.
It's positive to see that Royal Gold'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.
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. Investors love dividends, so if earnings fall and the dividend is reduced, expect a stock to be sold off heavily at the same time. That's why it's comforting to see Royal Gold's earnings have been skyrocketing, up 31% per annum for the past five years. Earnings per share have been growing very quickly, and the company is paying out a relatively low percentage of its profit and cash flow. 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.
Many investors will assess a company's dividend performance by evaluating how much the dividend payments have changed over time. Royal Gold has delivered an average of 12% per year annual increase in its dividend, based on the past 10 years of dividend payments. It's great to see earnings per share growing rapidly over several years, and dividends per share growing right along with it.
The Bottom Line
Has Royal Gold got what it takes to maintain its dividend payments? We love that Royal Gold is growing earnings per share while simultaneously paying out a low percentage of both its earnings and cash flow. These characteristics suggest the company is reinvesting in growing its business, while the conservative payout ratio also implies a reduced risk of the dividend being cut in the future. There's a lot to like about Royal Gold, and we would prioritise taking a closer look at it.
Wondering what the future holds for Royal Gold? See what the five analysts we track are forecasting, with this visualisation of its historical and future estimated earnings and cash flow
A common investment mistake is buying the first interesting stock you see. Here you can find a list of promising dividend stocks with a greater than 2% yield and an upcoming dividend.
This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. 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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