November 28, 2021

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Are You An Income Investor? Don’t Miss Out On Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE:LLY)

Could Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE:LLY) be an attractive dividend share to own for the long haul? Investors are often drawn to strong companies with the idea of reinvesting the dividends. Yet sometimes, investors buy a stock for its dividend and lose money because the share price falls by more than they earned in dividend payments.

A slim 2.1% yield is hard to get excited about, but the long payment history is respectable. At the right price, or with strong growth opportunities, Eli Lilly could have potential. During the year, the company also conducted a buyback equivalent to around 3.9% of its market capitalisation. Before you buy any stock for its dividend however, you should always remember Warren Buffett’s two rules: 1) Don’t lose money, and 2) Remember rule #1. We’ll run through some checks below to help with this.

Explore this interactive chart for our latest analysis on Eli Lilly!

NYSE:LLY Historical Dividend Yield, February 3rd 2020

Payout ratios

Dividends are typically paid from company earnings. If a company pays more in dividends than it earned, then the dividend might become unsustainable – hardly an ideal situation. As a result, we should always investigate whether a company can afford its dividend, measured as a percentage of a company’s net income after tax. Looking at the data, we can see that 52% of Eli Lilly’s profits were paid out as dividends in the last 12 months. A payout ratio above 50% generally implies a business is reaching maturity, although it is still possible to reinvest in the business or increase the dividend over time.

Consider getting our latest analysis on Eli Lilly’s financial position here.

Dividend Volatility

From the perspective of an income investor who wants to earn dividends for many years, there is not much point buying a stock if its dividend is regularly cut or is not reliable. Eli Lilly has been paying dividends for a long time, but for the purpose of this analysis, we only examine the past 10 years of payments. During this period the dividend has been stable, which could imply the business could have relatively consistent earnings power. During the past ten-year period, the first annual payment was US$1.96 in 2010, compared to US$2.96 last year. Dividends per share have grown at approximately 4.2% per year over this time.

Dividends have grown relatively slowly, which is not great, but some investors may value the relative consistency of the dividend.

Dividend Growth Potential

While dividend payments have been relatively reliable, it would also be nice if earnings per share (EPS) were growing, as this is essential to maintaining the dividend’s purchasing power over the long term. It’s good to see Eli Lilly has been growing its earnings per share at 17% a year over the past five years. Eli Lilly’s earnings per share have grown rapidly in recent years, although more than half of its profits are being paid out as dividends, which makes us wonder if the company has a limited number of reinvestment opportunities in its business.

Conclusion

When we look at a dividend stock, we need to form a judgement on whether the dividend will grow, if the company is able to maintain it in a wide range of economic circumstances, and if the dividend payout is sustainable. Eli Lilly’s payout ratio is within an average range for most market participants. We like that it has been delivering solid improvement in its earnings per share, and relatively consistent dividend payments. Eli Lilly fits all of our criteria, and we think there are a lot of positives to it from a dividend perspective.

Earnings growth generally bodes well for the future value of company dividend payments. See if the 11 Eli Lilly analysts we track are forecasting continued growth with our free report on analyst estimates for the company.

Looking for more high-yielding dividend ideas? Try our curated list of dividend stocks with a yield above 3%.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at [email protected] 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.

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. Thank you for reading.

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