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Do These 3 Checks Before Buying Energizer Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:ENR) For Its Upcoming Dividend

Energizer Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:ENR) 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 Energizer Holdings' shares before the 20th of February to receive the dividend, which will be paid on the 14th of March.

The company's next dividend payment will be US$0.30 per share, and in the last 12 months, the company paid a total of US$1.20 per share. Last year's total dividend payments show that Energizer Holdings has a trailing yield of 4.0% on the current share price of US$30.06. Dividends are a major contributor to investment returns for long term holders, but only if the dividend continues to be paid. So we need to investigate whether Energizer Holdings can afford its dividend, and if the dividend could grow.

Check out our latest analysis for Energizer Holdings

If a company pays out more in dividends than it earned, then the dividend might become unsustainable - hardly an ideal situation. Last year Energizer Holdings paid out 92% of its profits as dividends to shareholders, suggesting the dividend is not well covered by earnings. 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 26% of its free cash flow in the past year.

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It's good to see that while Energizer Holdings's dividends were not well covered by profits, at least they are affordable from a cash perspective. Still, if the company continues paying out such a high percentage of its profits, the dividend could be at risk if business turns sour.

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 falling earnings are riskier for dividend shareholders. If earnings fall far enough, the company could be forced to cut its dividend. That's why it's not ideal to see Energizer Holdings's earnings per share have been shrinking at 3.6% a year over the previous five years.

The main way most investors will assess a company's dividend prospects is by checking the historical rate of dividend growth. Energizer Holdings has delivered 2.0% dividend growth per year on average over the past nine years. That's intriguing, but the combination of growing dividends despite declining earnings can typically only be achieved by paying out a larger percentage of profits. Energizer Holdings is already paying out 92% of its profits, and with shrinking earnings we think it's unlikely that this dividend will grow quickly in the future.

Final Takeaway

Has Energizer Holdings got what it takes to maintain its dividend payments? It's not a great combination to see a company with earnings in decline and paying out 92% of its profits, which could imply the dividend may be at risk of being cut in the future. Yet cashflow was much stronger, which makes us wonder if there are some large timing issues in Energizer Holdings's cash flows, or perhaps the company has written down some assets aggressively, reducing its income. It's not the most attractive proposition from a dividend perspective, and we'd probably give this one a miss for now.

Having said that, if you're looking at this stock without much concern for the dividend, you should still be familiar of the risks involved with Energizer Holdings. For example, we've found 3 warning signs for Energizer Holdings (1 can't be ignored!) that deserve your attention before investing in the 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.