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Some investors rely on dividends for growing their wealth, and if you’re one of those dividend sleuths, you might be intrigued to know that Washington Federal, Inc. (NASDAQ:WAFD) is about to go ex-dividend in just 2 days. Investors can purchase shares before the 5th of November in order to be eligible for this dividend, which will be paid on the 20th of November.

Washington Federal’s next dividend payment will be US$0.22 per share, and in the last 12 months, the company paid a total of US$0.88 per share. Looking at the last 12 months of distributions, Washington Federal has a trailing yield of approximately 4.1% on its current stock price of $21.29. 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.

Check out our latest analysis for Washington Federal

If a company pays out more in dividends than it earned, then the dividend might become unsustainable – hardly an ideal situation. That’s why it’s good to see Washington Federal paying out a modest 39% of its earnings.

Companies that pay out less in dividends than they earn in profits generally have more sustainable dividends. The lower the payout ratio, the more wiggle room the business has before it could be forced to cut the dividend.

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

historic-dividend

Have Earnings And Dividends Been Growing?

Businesses with strong growth prospects usually make the best dividend payers, because it’s easier to grow dividends when earnings per share are improving. If business enters a downturn and the dividend is cut, the company could see its value fall precipitously. This is why it’s a relief to see Washington Federal earnings per share are up 6.2% per annum over the last five years.

Many investors will assess a company’s dividend performance by evaluating how much the dividend payments have changed over time. In the last 10 years, Washington Federal has lifted its dividend by approximately 16% a year on average. We’re glad to see dividends rising alongside earnings over a number of years, which may be a sign the company intends to share the growth with shareholders.

The Bottom Line

Should investors buy Washington Federal for the upcoming dividend? Washington Federal has seen its earnings per share grow slowly in recent years, and the company reinvests more than half of its profits in the business, which generally bodes well for its future prospects. In summary, Washington Federal appears to have some promise as a dividend stock, and we’d suggest taking a closer look at it.

So while Washington Federal looks good from a dividend perspective, it’s always worthwhile being up to date with the risks involved in this stock. Every company has risks, and we’ve spotted 1 warning sign for Washington Federal you should know about.

If you’re in the market for dividend stocks, we recommend checking our list of top 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.

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