Dividends can be underrated but they form a large part of investment returns, playing an important role in compounding returns in the long run. Historically, First United Corporation (NASDAQ:FUNC) has paid dividends to shareholders, and these days it yields 2.0%. Should it have a place in your portfolio? Let’s take a look at First United in more detail.
How I analyze a dividend stock
If you are a dividend investor, you should always assess these five key metrics:
- Is it the top 25% annual dividend yield payer?
- Has it consistently paid a stable dividend without missing a payment or drastically 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?
How well does First United fit our criteria?
The company currently pays out 27% of its earnings as a dividend, according to its trailing twelve-month data, 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.
When assessing the forecast sustainability of a dividend it is also worth considering the cash flow of the business. A company with strong cash flow, relative to earnings, can sometimes sustain a high pay out ratio.
If there is one thing that you want to be reliable in your life, it’s dividend stocks and their constant income stream. Not only have dividend payouts from First United fallen over the past 10 years, it has also been highly volatile during this time, with drops of over 25% in some years. This means that dividend hunters should probably steer clear of the stock, at least for now until the track record improves.
Relative to peers, First United produces a yield of 2.0%, which is on the low-side for Banks stocks.
After digging a little deeper into First United’s yield, it’s easy to see why you should be cautious investing in the company just for the dividend. On the other hand, if you are not strictly just a dividend investor, the stock could still be offering some interesting investment opportunities. Given that this is purely a dividend analysis, I recommend taking sufficient time to understand its core business and determine whether the company and its investment properties suit your overall goals. I’ve put together three relevant aspects you should further research:
- Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for FUNC’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for FUNC’s outlook.
- Valuation: What is FUNC 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 FUNC is currently mispriced by the market.
- 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 email@example.com.