Alan Oscroft | Thursday, 27th May, 2021 | More on: IMB Does Imperial Brands share price weakness offer me a top dividend buy? FREE REPORT: Why this £5 stock could be set to surge Our 6 ‘Best Buys Now’ Shares See all posts by Alan Oscroft Are you on the lookout for UK growth stocks?If so, get this FREE no-strings report now.While it’s available: you’ll discover what we think is a top growth stock for the decade ahead.And the performance of this company really is stunning.In 2019, it returned £150million to shareholders through buybacks and dividends.We believe its financial position is about as solid as anything we’ve seen.Since 2016, annual revenues increased 31%In March 2020, one of its senior directors LOADED UP on 25,000 shares – a position worth £90,259Operating cash flow is up 47%. (Even its operating margins are rising every year!)Quite simply, we believe it’s a fantastic Foolish growth pick.What’s more, it deserves your attention today.So please don’t wait another moment. Simply click below to discover how you can take advantage of this. Alan Oscroft has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Imperial Brands. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Enter Your Email Address I would like to receive emails from you about product information and offers from The Fool and its business partners. Each of these emails will provide a link to unsubscribe from future emails. More information about how The Fool collects, stores, and handles personal data is available in its Privacy Statement. After I recently examined Imperial Brands (LSE: IMB), the upwards momentum has continued. In 2021, the Imperial Brands share price is up 6%. Still, it’s dropped 3% on Thursday as I write, and is now behind the FTSE 100 year-to-date. And the shares are down 57% over five years. But since November’s lows, we are looking at a 34% gain. So is there really a long-term recovery for Imperial Brands happening?This month’s first-half results looked good. Reported revenue was 6.1% ahead of last year, as the company says it benefited from strong pricing. Statutory results were weighted positively with one-offs. But on an adjusted basis, the figures were still impressive. Operating profit gained 8.1%, with earnings per share up 6.9%. The company lifted its interim dividend by 1%.5G is here – and shares of this ‘sleeping giant’ could be a great way for you to potentially profit!According to one leading industry firm, the 5G boom could create a global industry worth US$12.3 TRILLION out of thin air…And if you click here we’ll show you something that could be key to unlocking 5G’s full potential…So why is the Imperial Brands share price one of the few in the FTSE 100 still way below pre-pandemic levels? Improving profits might not satisfy investors if a company is racking up debt. But that’s not the case at Imperial Brands. No, the company reported “good deleverage progress with net debt reduced by >£3bn on a 12-month basis.”Imperial Brands share price valuationOverall, Imperial says its “full year guidance remains unchanged with low-mid single-digit organic adjusted operating profit growth.” That suggests the second half will not be quite as good. But we’re probably looking at a forward P/E of around 6.3. That’s based on the current Imperial Brands share price, which has risen since November. It’s almost scary to think that back then, IMB shares could have been picked up on a P/E of under five.Imperial brands has long enjoyed strong cash flow with solid cash conversion. And that’s one of the things that has made me see it as a solid dividend stock. But that was reset last year, as the company rebased its dividends. It was part of deleveraging and debt reduction. Now, I don’t like to see dividends cut. But I do think it’s better to deleverage now in order to support a more reliable long-term payment strategy. Paying big dividends while shouldering big debt has never struck me as a good idea.What’s holding it back?If the dividend this year rises in line with operating profit guidance, I think we should see around 140p per share. With the Imperial Brands share price at 1,630p as I write, that would be an 8.6% yield. And we’d probably see cover by earnings of around 1.9 times. So, one of the FTSE 100’s best yields, with strong cover. Why isn’t the market interested?It’s surely got to be down to fears over the long-term future of tobacco. I’ve made the mistake of thinking BP and Shell would be fine during my investing lifetime, despite the move from fossils fuels. But both dividends have been cut and both share prices have slumped. Still, I doubt the world will move to kick the tobacco habit in anything like the same timescale. There’s a risk I’ve got it wrong again, sure. But the low Imperial Brands share price still puts the stock on my dividend shortlist. Renowned stock-picker Mark Rogers and his analyst team at The Motley Fool UK have named 6 shares that they believe UK investors should consider buying NOW.So if you’re looking for more stock ideas to try and best position your portfolio today, then it might be a good day for you. Because we’re offering a full 33% off your first year of membership to our flagship share-tipping service, backed by our ‘no quibbles’ 30-day subscription fee refund guarantee. Get the full details on this £5 stock now – while your report is free. Image source: Getty Images.