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Should You Buy CVS Health Corporation (NYSE:CVS) For Its Upcoming Dividend In 2 Days?

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April 21, 2020

CVS Health Corporation (NYSE:CVS) is about to trade ex-dividend in the next 2 days. If you purchase the stock on or after the 22nd of April, you won’t be eligible to receive this dividend, when it is paid on the 4th of May.

CVS Health’s next dividend payment will be US$0.50 per share, on the back of last year when the company paid a total of US$2.00 to shareholders. Based on the last year’s worth of payments, CVS Health stock has a trailing yield of around 3.2% on the current share price of $63.36. 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! We need to see whether the dividend is covered by earnings and if it’s growing.

View our latest analysis for CVS Health

If a company pays out more in dividends than it earned, then the dividend might become unsustainable – hardly an ideal situation. That’s why it’s good to see CVS Health paying out a modest 39% of its 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. Thankfully its dividend payments took up just 25% of the free cash flow it generated, which is a comfortable payout ratio.

It’s positive to see that CVS Health’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.

Click here to see the company’s payout ratio, plus analyst estimates of its future dividends.

NYSE:CVS Historical Dividend Yield April 19th 2020NYSE:CVS Historical Dividend Yield April 19th 2020

NYSE:CVS Historical Dividend Yield April 19th 2020

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 earnings fall far enough, the company could be forced to cut its dividend. This is why it’s a relief to see CVS Health earnings per share are up 5.0% per annum over the last five years. The company is retaining more than half of its earnings within the business, and it has been growing earnings at a decent rate. Organisations that reinvest heavily in themselves typically get stronger over time, which can bring attractive benefits such as stronger earnings and dividends.

Many investors will assess a company’s dividend performance by evaluating how much the dividend payments have changed over time. In the past ten years, CVS Health has increased its dividend at approximately 21% a year on average. It’s encouraging to see the company lifting dividends while earnings are growing, suggesting at least some corporate interest in rewarding shareholders.

Final Takeaway

Has CVS Health got what it takes to maintain its dividend payments? Earnings per share have been growing moderately, and CVS Health is paying out less than half its earnings and cash flow as dividends, which is an attractive combination as it suggests the company is investing in growth. We would prefer to see earnings growing faster, but the best dividend stocks over the long term typically combine significant earnings per share growth with a low payout ratio, and CVS Health is halfway there. It’s a promising combination that should mark this company worthy of closer attention.

With that in mind, a critical part of thorough stock research is being aware of any risks that stock currently faces. Our analysis shows 2 warning signs for CVS Health that we strongly recommend you have a look at before investing in the company.

We wouldn’t recommend just buying the first dividend stock you see, though. Here’s a list of interesting dividend stocks with a greater than 2% yield and an upcoming dividend.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Thank you for reading.

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