Domino's Pizza's (NYSE:DPZ) strong fourth-quarter revenue and earnings per share have received a lot of attention in the financial media the last few days. Of course, the spotlight on the company's quarterly financial results is well justified: Fourth-quarter revenue and earnings per share both crushed analysts' estimates for the two metrics.

But there's another metric brewing beneath the surface worth a closer look: Domino's dividend. Sure, the pizza delivery king may not be known for its dividend, but that hasn't stopped the company from rapidly growing it since it was initiated in 2013. 

Two hands grabbing slices of pizza from a pie.

Image source: Getty Images.

Domino's dividend growth accelerates

Along with its fourth-quarter results on Thursday, Domino's said it's increasing its quarterly dividend by 20%, to $0.78 per share. This notably represents an acceleration from an 18% increase in 2019. The quarterly dividend payment will go to shareholders of record as of March 13, 2020 and be paid on March 30.

Domino's dividend yield is still paltry. The boosted quarterly dividend comes out to $3.12 per share annually, giving Domino's a dividend yield of 0.8%.

But the company makes up for an anemic dividend yield with dividend growth. Highlighting how rapidly Domino's dividend has grown, the company's quarterly dividend has more than tripled over the last six years, rising from $0.25 in 2014 to $0.78 today. Further, more dividend growth is likely on the horizon.

Analysts, on average, expect Domino's earnings per share to compound at a rate of 12.75% annually over the next five years. If earnings per share grows this rapidly, the company could sustain double-digit annualized earnings growth for years to come. 

Repurchasing shares in droves

While Domino's strong dividend growth highlights one way management is prudently deploying excess cash to build shareholder value, it isn't the only way. Domino's has consistently allocated significantly more capital to share repurchases than it has to dividends.

The pizza company repurchased over $2 million of its shares during Q4. For the full year, Domino's repurchased about 2.5 million shares, spending about $700 million. This was far more than the $106 million that the company returned to shareholders during 2019. 

Notably, Domino's may not be able to keep buying shares as aggressively as it has since free cash flow was $411 million in 2019 -- several hundred million dollars below what the company spent on share repurchases. But Domino's dividend has plenty of breathing room, with dividend payments coming out to 26% of free cash flow.

In any analysis of Domino's Pizza stock, investors shouldn't overlook how management has helped sweeten the deal for shareholders with dividends and share repurchases.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.