It looks like Sleep Country Canada Holdings Inc. (TSE:ZZZ) is about to go ex-dividend in the next 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 because any transaction on a stock needs to have been settled before the record date in order to be eligible for a dividend. Therefore, if you purchase Sleep Country Canada Holdings’ shares on or after the 23rd of November, you won’t be eligible to receive the dividend, when it is paid on the 30th of November.
The company’s upcoming dividend is CA$0.24 a share, following on from the last 12 months, when the company distributed a total of CA$0.95 per share to shareholders. Based on the last year’s worth of payments, Sleep Country Canada Holdings stock has a trailing yield of around 4.0% on the current share price of CA$23.96. 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 Sleep Country Canada Holdings
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. Sleep Country Canada Holdings paid out a comfortable 35% of its profit last year. That said, even highly profitable companies sometimes might not generate enough cash to pay the dividend, which is why we should always check if the dividend is covered by cash flow. It distributed 27% of its free cash flow as dividends, a comfortable payout level for most companies.
It’s positive to see that Sleep Country Canada Holdings’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.
Click here to see the company’s payout ratio, plus analyst estimates of its future dividends.
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 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 Sleep Country Canada Holdings’s earnings per share have risen 10% per annum over the last five years. The company has managed to grow earnings at a rapid rate, while reinvesting most of the profits within the business. Fast-growing businesses that are reinvesting heavily are enticing from a dividend perspective, especially since they can often increase the payout ratio later.
Another key way to measure a company’s dividend prospects is by measuring its historical rate of dividend growth. Sleep Country Canada Holdings has delivered an average of 7.8% per year annual increase in its dividend, based on the past eight years of dividend payments. 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.
The Bottom Line
From a dividend perspective, should investors buy or avoid Sleep Country Canada Holdings? It’s great that Sleep Country Canada Holdings is growing earnings per share while simultaneously paying out a low percentage of both its earnings and cash flow. It’s disappointing to see the dividend has been cut at least once in the past, but as things stand now, the low payout ratio suggests a conservative approach to dividends, which we like. Sleep Country Canada Holdings looks solid on this analysis overall, and we’d definitely consider investigating it more closely.
In light of that, while Sleep Country Canada Holdings has an appealing dividend, it’s worth knowing the risks involved with this stock. Our analysis shows 1 warning sign for Sleep Country Canada Holdings and you should be aware of it before buying any shares.
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.