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Should Income Investors Look At Gabriel India Limited (NSE:GABRIEL) Before Its Ex-Dividend?

Simply Wall St

It looks like Gabriel India Limited (NSE:GABRIEL) is about to go ex-dividend in the next 3 days. You will need to purchase shares before the 5th of August to receive the dividend, which will be paid on the 12th of September.

Gabriel India's next dividend payment will be ₹0.95 per share, on the back of last year when the company paid a total of ₹1.50 to shareholders. Based on the last year's worth of payments, Gabriel India has a trailing yield of 1.7% on the current stock price of ₹89.35. 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 investigate whether Gabriel India can afford its dividend, and if the dividend could grow.

View our latest analysis for Gabriel India

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. Gabriel India has a low and conservative payout ratio of just 23% of its income after tax. Yet cash flows are even more important than profits for assessing a dividend, so we need to see if the company generated enough cash to pay its distribution. It paid out an unsustainably high 277% of its free cash flow as dividends over the past 12 months, which is worrying. Our definition of free cash flow excludes cash generated from asset sales, so since Gabriel India is paying out such a high percentage of its cash flow, it might be worth seeing if it sold assets or had similar events that might have led to such a high dividend payment.

Gabriel India paid out less in dividends than it reported in profits, but unfortunately it didn't generate enough cash to cover the dividend. Cash is king, as they say, and were Gabriel India to repeatedly pay dividends that aren't well covered by cashflow, we would consider this a warning sign.

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

NSEI:GABRIEL Historical Dividend Yield, August 1st 2019

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 earnings decline and the company is forced to cut its dividend, investors could watch the value of their investment go up in smoke. Fortunately for readers, Gabriel India's earnings per share have been growing at 17% a year for the past five years. Earnings have been growing at a decent rate, but we're concerned dividend payments consumed most of the company's cash flow over the past year.

Another key way to measure a company's dividend prospects is by measuring its historical rate of dividend growth. Gabriel India has delivered an average of 16% per year annual increase in its dividend, based on the past 10 years of dividend payments. It's great to see earnings per share growing rapidly over several years, and dividends per share growing right along with it.

Final Takeaway

Should investors buy Gabriel India for the upcoming dividend? We're glad to see the company has been improving its earnings per share while also paying out a low percentage of income. However, it's not great to see it paying out what we see as an uncomfortably high percentage of its cash flow. To summarise, Gabriel India looks okay on this analysis, although it doesn't appear a stand-out opportunity.

Wondering what the future holds for Gabriel India? See what the six analysts we track are forecasting, with this visualisation of its historical and future estimated earnings and cash flow

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.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. 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. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.