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 Rogers Sugar Inc. (TSE:RSI) is about to go ex-dividend in just two days. You can purchase shares before the 29th of September in order to receive the dividend, which the company will pay on the 21st of October.
Rogers Sugar's upcoming dividend is CA$0.09 a share, following on from the last 12 months, when the company distributed a total of CA$0.36 per share to shareholders. Calculating the last year's worth of payments shows that Rogers Sugar has a trailing yield of 7.3% on the current share price of CA$4.91. Dividends are a major contributor to investment returns for long term holders, but only if the dividend continues to be paid. So we need to check whether the dividend payments are covered, and if earnings are growing.
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. Rogers Sugar reported a loss after tax last year, which means it's paying a dividend despite being unprofitable. While this might be a one-off event, this is unlikely to be sustainable in the long term. With the recent loss, it's important to check if the business generated enough cash to pay its dividend. If cash earnings don't cover the dividend, the company would have to pay dividends out of cash in the bank, or by borrowing money, neither of which is long-term sustainable. It paid out more than half (59%) of its free cash flow in the past year, which is within an average range for most companies.
Have Earnings And Dividends Been Growing?
Companies with falling earnings are riskier for dividend shareholders. If earnings decline and the company is forced to cut its dividend, investors could watch the value of their investment go up in smoke. Rogers Sugar was unprofitable last year and, unfortunately, the general trend suggests its earnings have been in decline over the last five years, making us wonder if the dividend is sustainable at all.
The main way most investors will assess a company's dividend prospects is by checking the historical rate of dividend growth. Rogers Sugar's dividend payments per share have declined at 2.4% per year on average over the past 10 years, which is uninspiring. While it's not great that earnings and dividends per share have fallen in recent years, we're encouraged by the fact that management has trimmed the dividend rather than risk over-committing the company in a risky attempt to maintain yields to shareholders.
Remember, you can always get a snapshot of Rogers Sugar's financial health, by checking our visualisation of its financial health, here.
Should investors buy Rogers Sugar for the upcoming dividend? First, it's not great to see the company paying a dividend despite being loss-making over the last year. On the plus side, the dividend was covered by free cash flow." Bottom line: Rogers Sugar has some unfortunate characteristics that we think could lead to sub-optimal outcomes for dividend investors.
With that being said, if you're still considering Rogers Sugar as an investment, you'll find it beneficial to know what risks this stock is facing. For example, Rogers Sugar has 3 warning signs (and 2 which are a bit concerning) we think you should know about.
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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