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Columbus McKinnon Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCO) Passed Our Checks, And It's About To Pay A US$0.07 Dividend

It looks like Columbus McKinnon Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCO) is about to go ex-dividend in the next 3 days. The ex-dividend date is usually set to be one business day before the record date which is the cut-off date on which you must be present on the company's books as a shareholder in order to receive the dividend. The ex-dividend date is of consequence because whenever a stock is bought or sold, the trade takes at least two business day to settle. Accordingly, Columbus McKinnon investors that purchase the stock on or after the 3rd of November will not receive the dividend, which will be paid on the 14th of November.

The company's upcoming dividend is US$0.07 a share, following on from the last 12 months, when the company distributed a total of US$0.28 per share to shareholders. Based on the last year's worth of payments, Columbus McKinnon stock has a trailing yield of around 1.0% on the current share price of $28.13. We love seeing companies pay a dividend, but it's also important to be sure that laying the golden eggs isn't going to kill our golden goose! That's why we should always check whether the dividend payments appear sustainable, and if the company is growing.

View our latest analysis for Columbus McKinnon

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. Columbus McKinnon has a low and conservative payout ratio of just 17% of its income after tax. 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. Fortunately, it paid out only 29% of its free cash flow in the past year.

It's encouraging to see that the dividend is covered by both profit and cash flow. This generally suggests the dividend is sustainable, as long as earnings don't drop precipitously.

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

historic-dividend
historic-dividend

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. That's why it's comforting to see Columbus McKinnon's earnings have been skyrocketing, up 29% 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.

Another key way to measure a company's dividend prospects is by measuring its historical rate of dividend growth. Columbus McKinnon has delivered an average of 6.4% per year annual increase in its dividend, based on the past nine years of dividend payments. It's encouraging to see the company lifting dividends while earnings are growing, suggesting at least some corporate interest in rewarding shareholders.

The Bottom Line

From a dividend perspective, should investors buy or avoid Columbus McKinnon? Columbus McKinnon has been growing earnings at a rapid rate, and has a conservatively low payout ratio, implying that it is reinvesting heavily in its business; a sterling combination. Overall we think this is an attractive combination and worthy of further research.

In light of that, while Columbus McKinnon has an appealing dividend, it's worth knowing the risks involved with this stock. Our analysis shows 1 warning sign for Columbus McKinnon and you should be aware of this 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.

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