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Winmark Corporation (NASDAQ:WINA) stock is about to trade ex-dividend in four days. Typically, the ex-dividend date is one business day before the record date which is the date on which a company determines the shareholders eligible 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. Meaning, you will need to purchase Winmark's shares before the 10th of May to receive the dividend, which will be paid on the 1st of June.
The company's next dividend payment will be US$0.70 per share. Last year, in total, the company distributed US$9.30 to shareholders. Last year's total dividend payments show that Winmark has a trailing yield of 4.3% on the current share price of $216.7. 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! As a result, readers should always check whether Winmark has been able to grow its dividends, or if the dividend might be cut.
Dividends are typically paid out of company income, so if a company pays out more than it earned, its dividend is usually at a higher risk of being cut. Winmark is paying out just 16% of its profit after tax, which is comfortably low and leaves plenty of breathing room in the case of adverse events. Yet cash flow is typically more important than profit for assessing dividend sustainability, so we should always check if the company generated enough cash to afford its dividend. The good news is it paid out just 14% of its free cash flow in the last year.
It's positive to see that Winmark's dividend is covered by both profits and cash flow, since this is generally a sign that the dividend is sustainable, and a lower payout ratio usually suggests a greater margin of safety before the dividend gets cut.
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 business enters a downturn and the dividend is cut, the company could see its value fall precipitously. Fortunately for readers, Winmark's earnings per share have been growing at 17% a year for the past 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, Winmark has increased its dividend at approximately 55% 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.
Has Winmark got what it takes to maintain its dividend payments? Winmark 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. There's a lot to like about Winmark, and we would prioritise taking a closer look at it.
So while Winmark looks good from a dividend perspective, it's always worthwhile being up to date with the risks involved in this stock. We've identified 2 warning signs with Winmark (at least 1 which is potentially serious), and understanding these should be part of your investment process.
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.