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Don't Race Out To Buy Opus Bank (NASDAQ:OPB) Just Because It's Going Ex-Dividend

Simply Wall St

Opus Bank (NASDAQ:OPB) stock is about to trade ex-dividend in 4 days time. Ex-dividend means that investors that purchase the stock on or after the 7th of August will not receive this dividend, which will be paid on the 22nd of August.

Opus Bank's upcoming dividend is US$0.11 a share, following on from the last 12 months, when the company distributed a total of US$0.44 per share to shareholders. Looking at the last 12 months of distributions, Opus Bank has a trailing yield of approximately 2.0% on its current stock price of $21.76. We love seeing companies pay a dividend, but it's also important to be sure that laying the golden eggs isn't going to kill our golden goose! So we need to investigate whether Opus Bank can afford its dividend, and if the dividend could grow.

Check out our latest analysis for Opus Bank

If a company pays out more in dividends than it earned, then the dividend might become unsustainable - hardly an ideal situation. Its dividend payout ratio is 76% of profit, which means the company is paying out a majority of its earnings. The relatively limited profit reinvestment could slow the rate of future earnings growth It could become a concern if earnings started to decline.

Generally speaking, the lower a company's payout ratios, the more resilient its dividend usually is.

Click here to see the company's payout ratio, plus analyst estimates of its future dividends.

NasdaqGS:OPB Historical Dividend Yield, August 2nd 2019

Have Earnings And Dividends Been Growing?

When earnings decline, dividend companies become much harder to analyse and own safely. If earnings fall far enough, the company could be forced to cut its dividend. Opus Bank's earnings have collapsed faster than Wile E Coyote's schemes to trap the Road Runner; down a tremendous 35% a year over the past five years.

Many investors will assess a company's dividend performance by evaluating how much the dividend payments have changed over time. In the last 5 years, Opus Bank has lifted its dividend by approximately 17% a year on average. The only way to pay higher dividends when earnings are shrinking is either to pay out a larger percentage of profits, spend cash from the balance sheet, or borrow the money. Opus Bank is already paying out 76% of its profits, and with shrinking earnings we think it's unlikely that this dividend will grow quickly in the future.

Final Takeaway

From a dividend perspective, should investors buy or avoid Opus Bank? We're not overly enthused to see Opus Bank's earnings in retreat at the same time as the company is paying out more than half of its earnings as dividends to shareholders. All things considered, we're not optimistic about its dividend prospects, and would be inclined to leave it on the shelf for now.

Ever wonder what the future holds for Opus Bank? See what the five analysts we track are forecasting, with this visualisation of its historical and future estimated earnings and cash flow

A common investment mistake is buying the first interesting stock you see. Here you can find a list of promising 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 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.