The board of Campbell Soup Company (NYSE:CPB) has announced that it will pay a dividend on the 30th of January, with investors receiving $0.37 per share. This means the dividend yield will be fairly typical at 2.7%.
Campbell Soup's Earnings Easily Cover The Distributions
We aren't too impressed by dividend yields unless they can be sustained over time. Prior to this announcement, Campbell Soup's dividend was comfortably covered by both cash flow and earnings. This indicates that a lot of the earnings are being reinvested into the business, with the aim of fueling growth.
Looking forward, earnings per share is forecast to rise by 26.5% over the next year. If the dividend continues along recent trends, we estimate the payout ratio will be 47%, which is in the range that makes us comfortable with the sustainability of the dividend.
Campbell Soup Has A Solid Track Record
The company has a sustained record of paying dividends with very little fluctuation. Since 2012, the dividend has gone from $1.16 total annually to $1.48. This works out to be a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 2.5% a year over that time. Dividends have grown relatively slowly, which is not great, but some investors may value the relative consistency of the dividend.
The Dividend's Growth Prospects Are Limited
Some investors will be chomping at the bit to buy some of the company's stock based on its dividend history. However, initial appearances might be deceiving. In the last five years, Campbell Soup's earnings per share has shrunk at approximately 3.6% per annum. If the company is making less over time, it naturally follows that it will also have to pay out less in dividends. Earnings are forecast to grow over the next 12 months and if that happens we could still be a little bit cautious until it becomes a pattern.
Overall, we think Campbell Soup is a solid choice as a dividend stock, even though the dividend wasn't raised this year. While the payments look sustainable for now, earnings have been shrinking so the dividend could come under pressure in the future. Taking all of this into consideration, the dividend looks viable moving forward, but investors should be mindful that the company has pushed the boundaries of sustainability in the past and may do so again.
Investors generally tend to favour companies with a consistent, stable dividend policy as opposed to those operating an irregular one. Still, investors need to consider a host of other factors, apart from dividend payments, when analysing a company. Taking the debate a bit further, we've identified 2 warning signs for Campbell Soup that investors need to be conscious of moving forward. Looking for more high-yielding dividend ideas? Try our collection of strong dividend payers.
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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.
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