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Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA) Looks Like A Good Stock, And It's Going Ex-Dividend Soon

Readers hoping to buy Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA) for its dividend will need to make their move shortly, as the stock is about to trade ex-dividend. The ex-dividend date occurs one day before the record date which is the day on which shareholders need to be on the company's books in order to receive a dividend. It is important to be aware of the ex-dividend date because any trade on the stock needs to have been settled on or before the record date. Meaning, you will need to purchase Comcast's shares before the 4th of October to receive the dividend, which will be paid on the 26th of October.

The company's next dividend payment will be US$0.27 per share, and in the last 12 months, the company paid a total of US$1.08 per share. Looking at the last 12 months of distributions, Comcast has a trailing yield of approximately 3.5% on its current stock price of $31.16. If you buy this business for its dividend, you should have an idea of whether Comcast's dividend is reliable and sustainable. 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 Comcast

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. Fortunately Comcast's payout ratio is modest, at just 34% of profit. A useful secondary check can be to evaluate whether Comcast generated enough free cash flow to afford its dividend. It distributed 32% of its free cash flow as dividends, a comfortable payout level for most companies.

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?

Companies with consistently growing earnings per share generally make the best dividend stocks, as they usually find it easier to grow dividends per share. If earnings fall far enough, the company could be forced to cut its dividend. For this reason, we're glad to see Comcast's earnings per share have risen 12% per annum over the last five years. Earnings per share have been growing rapidly and the company is retaining a majority of its earnings 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. In the past 10 years, Comcast has increased its dividend at approximately 17% a year on average. It's great to see earnings per share growing rapidly over several years, and dividends per share growing right along with it.

To Sum It Up

From a dividend perspective, should investors buy or avoid Comcast? We love that Comcast 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 Comcast, and we would prioritise taking a closer look at it.

On that note, you'll want to research what risks Comcast is facing. Every company has risks, and we've spotted 1 warning sign for Comcast you should know about.

A common investing mistake is buying the first interesting stock you see. Here you can find a full list of high-yield 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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