There's A Lot To Like About GATX Corporation's (NYSE:GATX) Upcoming US$0.48 Dividend

Simply Wall St

GATX Corporation (NYSE:GATX) stock is about to trade ex-dividend in 4 days time. Ex-dividend means that investors that purchase the stock on or after the 27th of February will not receive this dividend, which will be paid on the 31st of March.

GATX's next dividend payment will be US$0.48 per share, on the back of last year when the company paid a total of US$1.92 to shareholders. Calculating the last year's worth of payments shows that GATX has a trailing yield of 2.4% on the current share price of $80.02. If you buy this business for its dividend, you should have an idea of whether GATX's dividend is reliable and sustainable. As a result, readers should always check whether GATX has been able to grow its dividends, or if the dividend might be cut.

See our latest analysis for GATX

Dividends are usually paid out of company profits, so if a company pays out more than it earned then its dividend is usually at greater risk of being cut. GATX paid out a comfortable 31% of its profit last year. GATX paid a dividend despite reporting negative free cash flow over the last twelve months. This may be due to heavy investment in the business, but this is still suboptimal from a dividend sustainability perspective.

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

NYSE:GATX Historical Dividend Yield, February 22nd 2020

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 GATX, with earnings per share up 5.4% on average 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. GATX has delivered 5.5% dividend growth per year on average over the past ten years. It's encouraging to see the company lifting dividends while earnings are growing, suggesting at least some corporate interest in rewarding shareholders.

To Sum It Up

Should investors buy GATX for the upcoming dividend? It has been growing its earnings per share somewhat in recent years, although it reinvests more than half its earnings in the business, which could suggest there are some growth projects that have not yet reached fruition. We think this is a pretty attractive combination, and would be interested in investigating GATX more closely.

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

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.

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.

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