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Here's Why We're Wary Of Buying Dana's (NYSE:DAN) For Its Upcoming Dividend

Regular readers will know that we love our dividends at Simply Wall St, which is why it's exciting to see Dana Incorporated (NYSE:DAN) is about to trade ex-dividend in the next three days. If you purchase the stock on or after the 6th of May, you won't be eligible to receive this dividend, when it is paid on the 28th of May.

Dana's next dividend payment will be US$0.10 per share. Last year, in total, the company distributed US$0.40 to shareholders. Based on the last year's worth of payments, Dana has a trailing yield of 1.6% on the current stock price of $25.3. 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.

Dividends are typically paid from company earnings. If a company pays more in dividends than it earned in profit, then the dividend could be unsustainable. Dana lost money last year, so the fact that it's paying a dividend is certainly disconcerting. There might be a good reason for this, but we'd want to look into it further before getting comfortable. With the recent loss, it's important to check if the business generated enough cash to pay its dividend. If cash earnings don't cover the dividend, the company would have to pay dividends out of cash in the bank, or by borrowing money, neither of which is long-term sustainable. Luckily it paid out just 9.5% of its free cash flow last year.

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

historic-dividendNYSE:DAN Historic Dividend May 2nd 2021

Have Earnings And Dividends Been Growing?

Companies with falling earnings are riskier for dividend shareholders. If business enters a downturn and the dividend is cut, the company could see its value fall precipitously. Dana reported a loss last year, and the general trend suggests its earnings have also been declining in recent years, making us wonder if the dividend is at risk.

Many investors will assess a company's dividend performance by evaluating how much the dividend payments have changed over time. Dana has delivered an average of 8.0% per year annual increase in its dividend, based on the past nine years of dividend payments.

To Sum It Up

From a dividend perspective, should investors buy or avoid Dana? First, it's not great to see the company paying a dividend despite being loss-making over the last year. On the plus side, the dividend was covered by free cash flow." It's not the most attractive proposition from a dividend perspective, and we'd probably give this one a miss for now.

With that being said, if you're still considering Dana as an investment, you'll find it beneficial to know what risks this stock is facing. For example, we've found 3 warning signs for Dana (1 is concerning!) that deserve your attention before investing in the shares.

A common investment mistake is buying the first interesting stock you see. Here you can find a list of promising dividend stocks with a greater than 2% yield and an upcoming dividend.

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. 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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

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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