Dividends4Life: Is AT&T's Dividend Sustainable?

Is AT&T's Dividend Sustainable?

Posted by D4L | Monday, August 23, 2010 | | 0 comments »

Whether you're a beginning investor or a near-retiree, the importance of purchasing stocks that pay dividends cannot be overstated. Not only do companies that have quarterly or annual payouts provide you with a steady stream of income, they also have the potential for capital appreciation. Simply put, dividend stocks can give your portfolio what almost no other investment can -- both income and growth.

Free cash flow -- all the cash left over after subtracting out capital expenditures -- is used by firms to make acquisitions, develop new products, and of course, pay dividends! We can use a simple metric called the cash flow coverage ratio, which is cash per share divided by dividends per share. Normally, anything above 1.2 should make you feel comfortable; anything less, and you may have a problem on your hands. AT&T's coverage ratio is 1.65, which is more than enough cash on hand to keep pumping out that 6.29% yield. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, there really shouldn't be any major problems moving forward.

Source: Motley Fool

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