A profitability score is also taken based on a firm’s relative competitive advantage across several metrics. Firms with wider margins typically are better positioned to expand compared to those with tighter margins.

Related: Taking a Bottom Up Approach to ESG ETF Investments

Lastly, cash flow provides a better understanding of liquidity levels for a company. A firm that does not meet its debt obligations and day-to-day liquidity needs are likely to be poorly positioned to take advantage of future opportunities or have a financial cushion during downturns.

By evaluating these different quality facets, FlexShares is better able to determine the likelihood that a company can issue sustainable dividend payouts.

“Measuring a company’s core financial health makes it possible to evaluate whether it may increase (or need to decrease) its future dividends. With this approach, the reliance on publicly available financial data means new dividend payers can be evaluated similarly to stocks that have paid dividends for decades. By using several lenses to evaluate financial health, an investor can gain a strong sense of how well-positioned a dividend-paying company is for success, and how protected future dividends are under current market and economic environments,” according to FlexShares.

For more information on dividend-generating ideas, visit our dividend ETFs category.

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