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Wolverine World Wide, Inc. (NYSE:WWW) stock is about to trade ex-dividend in three 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 of consequence because whenever a stock is bought or sold, the trade takes at least two business day to settle. This means that investors who purchase Wolverine World Wide's shares on or after the 30th of September will not receive the dividend, which will be paid on the 1st of November.
The company's next dividend payment will be US$0.10 per share. Last year, in total, the company distributed US$0.40 to shareholders. Looking at the last 12 months of distributions, Wolverine World Wide has a trailing yield of approximately 1.2% on its current stock price of $32.44. If you buy this business for its dividend, you should have an idea of whether Wolverine World Wide'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.
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. Wolverine World Wide reported a loss after tax last year, which means it's paying a dividend despite being unprofitable. While this might be a one-off event, this is unlikely to be sustainable in the long term. Given that the company reported a loss last year, we now need to see if it generated enough free cash flow to fund the dividend. If cash earnings don't cover the dividend, the company would have to pay dividends out of cash in the bank, or by borrowing money, neither of which is long-term sustainable. Luckily it paid out just 11% of its free cash flow last year.
Have Earnings And Dividends Been Growing?
Businesses with shrinking earnings are tricky from a dividend perspective. If earnings fall far enough, the company could be forced to cut its dividend. Wolverine World Wide was unprofitable last year and, unfortunately, the general trend suggests its earnings have been in decline over the last five years, making us wonder if the dividend is sustainable at all.
The main way most investors will assess a company's dividend prospects is by checking the historical rate of dividend growth. Wolverine World Wide has delivered an average of 6.2% per year annual increase in its dividend, based on the past 10 years of dividend payments.
Remember, you can always get a snapshot of Wolverine World Wide's financial health, by checking our visualisation of its financial health, here.
To Sum It Up
Is Wolverine World Wide worth buying for its dividend? We're a bit uncomfortable with it paying a dividend while being loss-making. However, we note that the dividend was covered by cash flow. Overall it doesn't look like the most suitable dividend stock for a long-term buy and hold investor.
With that in mind though, if the poor dividend characteristics of Wolverine World Wide don't faze you, it's worth being mindful of the risks involved with this business. To help with this, we've discovered 2 warning signs for Wolverine World Wide that you should be aware of before investing in their shares.
A common investment mistake is buying the first interesting stock you see. Here you can find a list of promising dividend stocks with a greater than 2% yield and an upcoming dividend.
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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