EPS is barely covering the dividend. If the dividend is that safe and the stock that stable why not buy NYB a few days before it goes x dividend and sell it after you get the dividend. In the interim your money is not locked up in a bank stock (bank stocks continue to be out of favor) and you can utilize the free cash for other purposes/investments. Is NYB really that immune from all the problems and troubles facing all other banking institutions? NYB's main branch (Roslyn Savings) is basically a Long Island sector division....and residing on Long Island most of my life...there are alot of people that have mortgages with Roslyn that cannot pay the high taxes and mortgage payments. I find NYB stock appealing, but I question if NYB is really immune from the real estate bubble. Also, if the dividend is cut in half; and don't tell me that it can't happen, how will NYB stock react? Look what happened to another Long Island/Queens based bank..Astoria Federal (AF)...once a $40 stock...now a $8 stock.
You make some excellent points; and knowing relatives/friends living in the Queens/Long Island area who are struggling to make those mortgage payments there is risk here. To what degree, who knows. Suffice it to say if the $1 share annual dividend was written in stone it would appear to be a non risky investment. Just about every bank that does business in the NYC metro area has cut their dividend drastically.....Hudson savings, Astoria, Bank of Am, Citibank, etc etc.