Is It Smart To Buy American International Group, Inc. (NYSE:AIG) Before It Goes Ex-Dividend?

It looks like American International Group, Inc. (NYSE:AIG) is about to go ex-dividend in the next four days. The ex-dividend date is one business day before a company's record date, which is the date on which the company determines which shareholders are entitled to receive a dividend. The ex-dividend date is an important date to be aware of as any purchase of the stock made on or after this date might mean a late settlement that doesn't show on the record date. Therefore, if you purchase American International Group's shares on or after the 14th of December, you won't be eligible to receive the dividend, when it is paid on the 29th of December.

The company's next dividend payment will be US$0.32 per share, and in the last 12 months, the company paid a total of US$1.28 per share. Last year's total dividend payments show that American International Group has a trailing yield of 2.1% on the current share price of $62.26. Dividends are a major contributor to investment returns for long term holders, but only if the dividend continues to be paid. As a result, readers should always check whether American International Group has been able to grow its dividends, or if the dividend might be cut.

View our latest analysis for American International Group

If a company pays out more in dividends than it earned, then the dividend might become unsustainable - hardly an ideal situation. American International Group paid out just 7.5% of its profit last year, which we think is conservatively low and leaves plenty of margin for unexpected circumstances.

Generally speaking, the lower a company's payout ratios, the more resilient its dividend usually is.

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

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historic-dividend

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. It's encouraging to see American International Group has grown its earnings rapidly, up 60% a year for the past five years.

Many investors will assess a company's dividend performance by evaluating how much the dividend payments have changed over time. Since the start of our data, nine years ago, American International Group has lifted its dividend by approximately 14% a year on average. Both per-share earnings and dividends have both been growing rapidly in recent times, which is great to see.

Final Takeaway

Is American International Group an attractive dividend stock, or better left on the shelf? Companies like American International Group that are growing rapidly and paying out a low fraction of earnings, are usually reinvesting heavily in their business. Perhaps even more importantly - this can sometimes signal management is focused on the long term future of the business. Overall, American International Group looks like a promising dividend stock in this analysis, and we think it would be worth investigating further.

In light of that, while American International Group has an appealing dividend, it's worth knowing the risks involved with this stock. We've identified 2 warning signs with American International Group (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.

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