Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE:PRU) stock is about to trade ex-dividend in four days. The ex-dividend date is one business day before the record date, which is the cut-off date for shareholders to be present on the company’s books to be eligible for a dividend payment. 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. Therefore, if you purchase Prudential Financial’s shares on or after the 16th of February, you won’t be eligible to receive the dividend, when it is paid on the 14th of March.
The company’s next dividend payment will be US$1.30 per share, on the back of last year when the company paid a total of US$5.20 to shareholders. Calculating the last year’s worth of payments shows that Prudential Financial has a trailing yield of 4.9% on the current share price of US$105.58. If you buy this business for its dividend, you should have an idea of whether Prudential Financial’s dividend is reliable and sustainable. We need to see whether the dividend is covered by earnings and if it’s growing.
Check out our latest analysis for Prudential Financial
If a company pays out more in dividends than it earned, then the dividend might become unsustainable – hardly an ideal situation. Prudential Financial is paying out an acceptable 74% of its profit, a common payout level among most companies.
When a company paid out less in dividends than it earned in profit, this generally suggests its dividend is affordable. The lower the % of its profit that it pays out, the greater the margin of safety for the dividend if the business enters a downturn.
Click here to see the company’s payout ratio, plus analyst estimates of its future dividends.
Have Earnings And Dividends Been Growing?
Businesses with shrinking earnings are tricky from a dividend perspective. If earnings decline and the company is forced to cut its dividend, investors could watch the value of their investment go up in smoke. With that in mind, we’re discomforted by Prudential Financial’s 6.6% per annum decline in earnings in the past five years. When earnings per share fall, the maximum amount of dividends that can be paid also falls.
Many investors will assess a company’s dividend performance by evaluating how much the dividend payments have changed over time. Since the start of our data, 10 years ago, Prudential Financial has lifted its dividend by approximately 13% a year on average. That’s interesting, but the combination of a growing dividend despite declining earnings can typically only be achieved by paying out more of the company’s profits. This can be valuable for shareholders, but it can’t go on forever.
To Sum It Up
Is Prudential Financial an attractive dividend stock, or better left on the shelf? Earnings per share have been declining and the company is paying out more than half its profits to shareholders; not an enticing combination. All things considered, we’re not optimistic about its dividend prospects, and would be inclined to leave it on the shelf for now.
Curious what other investors think of Prudential Financial? See what analysts are forecasting, with this visualisation of its historical and future estimated earnings and cash flow.
A common investing mistake is buying the first interesting stock you see. Here you can find a full list of high-yield dividend stocks.
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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.