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Should You Buy Amerisafe, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMSF) For Its Dividend?

Michael Crabtree

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A sizeable part of portfolio returns can be produced by dividend stocks due to their contribution to compounding returns in the long run. Historically, Amerisafe, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMSF) has paid a dividend to shareholders. It currently yields 7.0%. Should it have a place in your portfolio? Let’s take a look at Amerisafe in more detail.

View our latest analysis for Amerisafe

5 checks you should use to assess a dividend stock

If you are a dividend investor, you should always assess these five key 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 the amount of dividend per share grown over the past?
  • Can it afford to pay the current rate of dividends from its earnings?
  • Based on future earnings growth, will it be able to continue to payout dividend at the current rate?
NASDAQGS:AMSF Historical Dividend Yield February 13th 19

Does Amerisafe pass our checks?

Amerisafe has a trailing twelve-month payout ratio of 31%, which means that the dividend is covered by earnings. In the near future, analysts are predicting a higher payout ratio of 84% which, assuming the share price stays the same, leads to a dividend yield of around 4.3%. Moreover, EPS should increase to $3.33. The higher payout forecasted, along with higher earnings, should lead to greater dividend income for investors moving forward.

When assessing the forecast sustainability of a dividend it is also worth considering 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.

If dividend is a key criteria in your investment consideration, then you need to make sure the dividend stock you’re eyeing out is reliable in its payments. Unfortunately, it is really too early to view Amerisafe as a dividend investment. It has only been consistently paying dividends for 6 years, however, standard practice for reliable payers is to look for a 10-year minimum track record.

In terms of its peers, Amerisafe produces a yield of 7.0%, which is high for Insurance stocks.

Next Steps:

Keeping in mind the dividend characteristics above, Amerisafe is definitely worth considering for investors looking to build a dedicated income portfolio. Given that this is purely a dividend analysis, you should always research extensively before deciding whether or not a stock is an appropriate investment for you. I always recommend analysing the company’s fundamentals and underlying business before making an investment decision. I’ve put together three important factors you should further examine:

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for AMSF’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for AMSF’s outlook.
  2. Valuation: What is AMSF 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 AMSF is currently mispriced by the market.
  3. Other Dividend Rockstars: Are there better dividend payers with stronger fundamentals out there? Check out our free list of these great stocks here.

To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.

The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com.