Why You Might Be Interested In Barrett Business Services, Inc. (NASDAQ:BBSI) For Its Upcoming Dividend

Why You Might Be Interested In Barrett Business Services, Inc. (NASDAQ:BBSI) For Its Upcoming Dividend

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 Barrett Business Services, Inc. (NASDAQ:BBSI) is about to go ex-dividend in just 4 days. The ex-dividend date is one business day before the record date, which is the cut-off date for shareholders to be present on the company’s books to be eligible for a dividend payment. The ex-dividend date is of consequence because whenever a stock is bought or sold, the trade takes at least two business day to settle. Therefore, if you purchase Barrett Business Services’ shares on or after the 16th of May, you won’t be eligible to receive the dividend, when it is paid on the 31st of May.

The company’s next dividend payment will be US$0.30 per share. Last year, in total, the company distributed US$1.20 to shareholders. Calculating the last year’s worth of payments shows that Barrett Business Services has a trailing yield of 1.0% on the current share price of US$125.98. Dividends are a major contributor to investment returns for long term holders, but only if the dividend continues to be paid. So we need to investigate whether Barrett Business Services can afford its dividend, and if the dividend could grow.

View our latest analysis for Barrett Business Services

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. Barrett Business Services is paying out just 16% of its profit after tax, which is comfortably low and leaves plenty of breathing room in the case of adverse events. A useful secondary check can be to evaluate whether Barrett Business Services generated enough free cash flow to afford its dividend. The good news is it paid out just 8.8% of its free cash flow in the last year.

It’s encouraging to see that the dividend is covered by both profit and cash flow. This generally suggests the dividend is sustainable, as long as earnings don’t drop precipitously.

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

Why You Might Be Interested In Barrett Business Services, Inc. (NASDAQ:BBSI) For Its Upcoming DividendWhy You Might Be Interested In Barrett Business Services, Inc. (NASDAQ:BBSI) For Its Upcoming Dividend

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 earnings decline and the company is forced to cut its dividend, investors could watch the value of their investment go up in smoke. With that in mind, we’re encouraged by the steady growth at Barrett Business Services, with earnings per share up 7.9% on average over the last five years. Earnings per share have been increasing steadily and management is reinvesting almost all of the profits back into the business. If profits are reinvested effectively, this could be a bullish combination for future earnings and dividends.

The main way most investors will assess a company’s dividend prospects is by checking the historical rate of dividend growth. Since the start of our data, 10 years ago, Barrett Business Services has lifted its dividend by approximately 8.7% a year on average. It’s encouraging to see the company lifting dividends while earnings are growing, suggesting at least some corporate interest in rewarding shareholders.

The Bottom Line

Should investors buy Barrett Business Services for the upcoming dividend? Earnings per share growth has been growing somewhat, and Barrett Business Services is paying out less than half its earnings and cash flow as dividends. This is interesting for a few reasons, as it suggests management may be reinvesting heavily in the business, but it also provides room to increase the dividend in time. It might be nice to see earnings growing faster, but Barrett Business Services is being conservative with its dividend payouts and could still perform reasonably over the long run. There’s a lot to like about Barrett Business Services, and we would prioritise taking a closer look at it.

Wondering what the future holds for Barrett Business Services? See what the four analysts we track are forecasting, with this visualisation of its historical and future estimated earnings and cash flow

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.