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Conagra Brands (NYSE:CAG) Is Increasing Its Dividend To $0.33

·3-min read

The board of Conagra Brands, Inc. (NYSE:CAG) has announced that the dividend on 1st of September will be increased to $0.33, which will be 5.6% higher than last year's payment of $0.313 which covered the same period. This will take the dividend yield to an attractive 3.7%, providing a nice boost to shareholder returns.

View our latest analysis for Conagra Brands

Conagra Brands' Payment Has Solid Earnings Coverage

We like to see robust dividend yields, but that doesn't matter if the payment isn't sustainable. The last dividend was quite comfortably covered by Conagra Brands' earnings, but it was a bit tighter on the cash flow front. The business is earning enough to make the dividend feasible, but the cash payout ratio of 84% indicates it is more focused on returning cash to shareholders than growing the business.

Looking forward, earnings per share is forecast to rise by 57.3% over the next year. If the dividend continues on this path, the payout ratio could be 44% by next year, which we think can be pretty sustainable going forward.

historic-dividend
historic-dividend

Dividend Volatility

While the company has been paying a dividend for a long time, it has cut the dividend at least once in the last 10 years. Since 2012, the annual payment back then was $0.96, compared to the most recent full-year payment of $1.25. This implies that the company grew its distributions at a yearly rate of about 2.7% over that duration. We're glad to see the dividend has risen, but with a limited rate of growth and fluctuations in the payments the total shareholder return may be limited.

The Dividend Has Growth Potential

With a relatively unstable dividend, it's even more important to see if earnings per share is growing. Conagra Brands has impressed us by growing EPS at 8.3% per year over the past five years. Shareholders are getting plenty of the earnings returned to them, which combined with strong growth makes this quite appealing.

Our Thoughts On Conagra Brands' Dividend

In summary, while it's always good to see the dividend being raised, we don't think Conagra Brands' payments are rock solid. While Conagra Brands is earning enough to cover the dividend, we are generally unimpressed with its future prospects. We would probably look elsewhere for an income investment.

Investors generally tend to favour companies with a consistent, stable dividend policy as opposed to those operating an irregular one. Meanwhile, despite the importance of dividend payments, they are not the only factors our readers should know when assessing a company. Case in point: We've spotted 4 warning signs for Conagra Brands (of which 1 shouldn't be ignored!) you should know about. Is Conagra Brands not quite the opportunity you were looking for? Why not check out 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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