Regular readers will know that we love our dividends at Simply Wall St, which is why it's exciting to see BankUnited, Inc. (NYSE:BKU) is about to trade ex-dividend in the next 3 days. This means that investors who purchase shares on or after the 11th of October will not receive the dividend, which will be paid on the 31st of October.
BankUnited's next dividend payment will be US$0.2 per share. Last year, in total, the company distributed US$0.8 to shareholders. Calculating the last year's worth of payments shows that BankUnited has a trailing yield of 2.5% on the current share price of $33.16. Dividends are a major contributor to investment returns for long term holders, but only if the dividend continues to be paid. We need to see whether the dividend is covered by earnings and if it's growing.
Dividends are typically paid out of company income, so if a company pays out more than it earned, its dividend is usually at a higher risk of being cut. That's why it's good to see BankUnited paying out a modest 29% of its earnings.
Generally speaking, the lower a company's payout ratios, the more resilient its dividend usually is.
Have Earnings And Dividends Been Growing?
Stocks in companies that generate sustainable earnings growth often make the best dividend prospects, as it is easier to lift the dividend when earnings are rising. If earnings fall far enough, the company could be forced to cut its dividend. With that in mind, we're encouraged by the steady growth at BankUnited, with earnings per share up 7.1% on average over the last five years.
Many investors will assess a company's dividend performance by evaluating how much the dividend payments have changed over time. Since the start of our data, nine years ago, BankUnited has lifted its dividend by approximately 4.6% a year on average. It's encouraging to see the company lifting dividends while earnings are growing, suggesting at least some corporate interest in rewarding shareholders.
The Bottom Line
From a dividend perspective, should investors buy or avoid BankUnited? It has been growing its earnings per share somewhat in recent years, although it reinvests more than half its earnings in the business, which could suggest there are some growth projects that have not yet reached fruition. We think this is a pretty attractive combination, and would be interested in investigating BankUnited more closely.
Ever wonder what the future holds for BankUnited? See what the nine analysts we track are forecasting, with this visualisation of its historical and future estimated earnings and cash flow
If you're in the market for dividend stocks, we recommend checking our list of top dividend stocks with a greater than 2% yield and an upcoming dividend.
We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.
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.