Public Companies

Be Sure To Check Out Coterra Energy Inc. (NYSE:CTRA) Before It Goes Ex-Dividend

Coterra Energy Inc. (NYSE:CTRA) 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 important because any transaction on a stock needs to have been settled before the record date in order to be eligible for a dividend. Meaning, you will need to purchase Coterra Energy's shares before the 13th of October to receive the dividend, which will be paid on the 22nd of October.

The upcoming dividend for Coterra Energy is US$0.50 per share, increased from last year's total dividends per share of US$0.44. Dividends are an important source of income to many shareholders, but the health of the business is crucial to maintaining those dividends. So we need to check whether the dividend payments are covered, and if earnings are growing.

If a company pays out more in dividends than it earned, then the dividend might become unsustainable - hardly an ideal situation. Coterra Energy paid out 60% of its earnings to investors last year, a normal payout level for most businesses. Yet cash flow is typically more important than profit for assessing dividend sustainability, so we should always check if the company generated enough cash to afford its dividend. Thankfully its dividend payments took up just 42% of the free cash flow it generated, which is a comfortable payout ratio.

It's positive to see that Coterra Energy'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.

historic-dividendNYSE:CTRA Historic Dividend October 8th 2021

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 Coterra Energy has grown its earnings rapidly, up 45% a year for the past five years. The current payout ratio suggests a good balance between rewarding shareholders with dividends, and reinvesting in growth. Earnings per share have been growing quickly and in combination with some reinvestment and a middling payout ratio, the stock may have decent dividend prospects going forwards.

Many investors will assess a company's dividend performance by evaluating how much the dividend payments have changed over time. Coterra Energy has delivered an average of 31% per year annual increase in its dividend, based on the past 10 years of dividend payments. It's exciting to see that both earnings and dividends per share have grown rapidly over the past few years.

The Bottom Line

Is Coterra Energy worth buying for its dividend? We like Coterra Energy's growing earnings per share and the fact that - while its payout ratio is around average - it paid out a lower percentage of its cash flow. There's a lot to like about Coterra Energy, and we would prioritise taking a closer look at it.

On that note, you'll want to research what risks Coterra Energy is facing. To help with this, we've discovered 3 warning signs for Coterra Energy (1 is potentially serious!) that you ought to be aware of before buying the shares.

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.

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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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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