Shares of Ames National Corporation (NASDAQ:ATLO) will begin trading ex-dividend in 3 days. To qualify for the dividend check of US$0.24 per share, investors must have owned the shares prior to 30 April 2019, which is the last day the company's management will finalize their list of shareholders to which they will send dividend payments. Is this future income stream a compelling catalyst for dividend investors to think about the stock as an investment today? Let's take a look at Ames National's most recent financial data to examine its dividend characteristics in more detail.
5 checks you should do on a dividend stock
Whenever I am looking at a potential dividend stock investment, I always check these five metrics:
- Is their annual yield among the top 25% of dividend payers?
- Does it consistently pay out dividends without missing a payment of significantly cutting payout?
- Has dividend per share amount increased over the past?
- Can it afford to pay the current rate of dividends from its earnings?
- Will it have the ability to keep paying its dividends going forward?
How well does Ames National fit our criteria?
The current trailing twelve-month payout ratio for the stock is 50%, which means that the dividend is covered by earnings. Furthermore, analysts have not forecasted a dividends per share for the future, which makes it hard to determine the yield shareholders should expect, and whether the current payout is sustainable, moving forward.
If you want to dive deeper into the sustainability of a certain payout ratio, you may wish to consider the cash flow of the business. A business with strong cash flow can sustain a higher divided payout ratio than a company with weak cash flow.
Reliablity is an important factor for dividend stocks, particularly for income investors who want a strong track record of payment and a positive outlook for future payout. ATLO has increased its DPS from $0.40 to $0.96 in the past 10 years. During this period it has not missed a payment, as one would expect for a company increasing its dividend. These are all positive signs of a great, reliable dividend stock.
Relative to peers, Ames National produces a yield of 3.5%, which is high for Banks stocks but still below the market's top dividend payers.
Keeping in mind the dividend characteristics above, Ames National is definitely worth considering for investors looking to build a dedicated income portfolio. Given that this is purely a dividend analysis, I urge potential investors to try and get a good understanding of the underlying business and its fundamentals before deciding on an investment. There are three important factors you should further research:
- Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for ATLO’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for ATLO’s outlook.
- Valuation: What is ATLO worth today? Even if the stock is a cash cow, it's not worth an infinite price. The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether ATLO is currently mispriced by the market.
- Other Dividend Rockstars: Are there better dividend payers with stronger fundamentals out there? Check out our free list of these great stocks here.
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If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.com. This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.