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Does Guaranty Federal Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:GFED) Have A Place In Your Dividend Portfolio?

Simply Wall St

Is Guaranty Federal Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:GFED) a good dividend stock? How can we tell? Dividend paying companies with growing earnings can be highly rewarding in the long term. Unfortunately, it's common for investors to be enticed in by the seemingly attractive yield, and lose money when the company has to cut its dividend payments.

With a 2.1% yield and a five-year payment history, investors probably think Guaranty Federal Bancshares looks like a reliable dividend stock. While the yield may not look too great, the relatively long payment history is interesting. When buying stocks for their dividends, you should always run through the checks below, to see if the dividend looks sustainable.

Click the interactive chart for our full dividend analysis

NasdaqGM:GFED Historical Dividend Yield, September 30th 2019

Payout ratios

Companies (usually) pay dividends out of their earnings. If a company is paying more than it earns, the dividend might have to be cut. So we need to form a view on if a company's dividend is sustainable, relative to its net profit after tax. Looking at the data, we can see that 21% of Guaranty Federal Bancshares's profits were paid out as dividends in the last 12 months. With a low payout ratio, it looks like the dividend is comprehensively covered by earnings.

We update our data on Guaranty Federal Bancshares every 24 hours, so you can always get our latest analysis of its financial health, here.

Dividend Volatility

From the perspective of an income investor who wants to earn dividends for many years, there is not much point buying a stock if its dividend is regularly cut or is not reliable. Guaranty Federal Bancshares has been paying a dividend for the past five years. During the past five-year period, the first annual payment was US$0.20 in 2014, compared to US$0.52 last year. This works out to be a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 21% a year over that time.

We're not overly excited about the relatively short history of dividend payments, however the dividend is growing at a nice rate and we might take a closer look.

Dividend Growth Potential

Dividend payments have been consistent over the past few years, but we should always check if earnings per share (EPS) are growing, as this will help maintain the purchasing power of the dividend. Guaranty Federal Bancshares has grown its earnings per share at 8.6% per annum over the past five years. With a decent amount of growth and a low payout ratio, we think this bodes well for Guaranty Federal Bancshares's prospects of growing its dividend payments in the future.

Conclusion

When we look at a dividend stock, we need to form a judgement on whether the dividend will grow, if the company is able to maintain it in a wide range of economic circumstances, and if the dividend payout is sustainable. Firstly, we like that Guaranty Federal Bancshares has a low and conservative payout ratio. Next, earnings growth has been good, but unfortunately the company has not been paying dividends as long as we'd like. Overall we think Guaranty Federal Bancshares is an interesting dividend stock, although it could be better.

Now, if you want to look closer, it would be worth checking out our free research on Guaranty Federal Bancshares management tenure, salary, and performance.

If you are a dividend investor, you might also want to look at our curated list of dividend stocks yielding above 3%.

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 editorial-team@simplywallst.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.