Jack in the Box Inc. (NASDAQ:JACK) will pay a dividend of US$0.44 on the 22nd of June. The dividend yield will be 2.6% based on this payment which is still above the industry average.
Jack in the Box's Earnings Easily Cover the Distributions
We like to see robust dividend yields, but that doesn't matter if the payment isn't sustainable. Before making this announcement, Jack in the Box was easily earning enough to cover the dividend. As a result, a large proportion of what it earned was being reinvested back into the business.
The next year is set to see EPS grow by 6.3%. Assuming the dividend continues along recent trends, we think the payout ratio could be 29% by next year, which is in a pretty sustainable range.
Jack in the Box's Dividend Has Lacked Consistency
Looking back, Jack in the Box's dividend hasn't been particularly consistent. If the company cuts once, it definitely isn't argument against the possibility of it cutting in the future. Since 2014, the dividend has gone from US$0.80 to US$1.76. This works out to be a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 10% a year over that time. Dividends have grown rapidly over this time, but with cuts in the past we are not certain that this stock will be a reliable source of income in the future.
Jack in the Box Could Grow Its Dividend
Given that the dividend has been cut in the past, we need to check if earnings are growing and if that might lead to stronger dividends in the future. It's encouraging to see Jack in the Box has been growing its earnings per share at 8.3% a year over the past five years. A low payout ratio and decent growth suggests that the company is reinvesting well, and it also has plenty of room to increase the dividend over time.
Jack in the Box Looks Like A Great Dividend Stock
In summary, it is good to see that the dividend is staying consistent, and we don't think there is any reason to suspect this might change over the medium term. The company is easily earning enough to cover its dividend payments and it is great to see that these earnings are being translated into cash flow. All of these factors considered, we think this has solid potential as a dividend stock.
It's important to note that companies having a consistent dividend policy will generate greater investor confidence than those having an erratic one. Meanwhile, despite the importance of dividend payments, they are not the only factors our readers should know when assessing a company. To that end, Jack in the Box has 4 warning signs (and 1 which is a bit unpleasant) we think you should know about. Is Jack in the Box not quite the opportunity you were looking for? Why not check out our selection of top dividend stocks.
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