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Readers hoping to buy East West Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:EWBC) for its dividend will need to make their move shortly, as the stock is about to trade ex-dividend. The ex-dividend date is usually set to be one business day before the record date which is the cut-off date on which you must be present on the company's books as a shareholder in order to receive the dividend. The ex-dividend date is of consequence because whenever a stock is bought or sold, the trade takes at least two business day to settle. Therefore, if you purchase East West Bancorp's shares on or after the 29th of July, you won't be eligible to receive the dividend, when it is paid on the 15th of August.
The company's next dividend payment will be US$0.40 per share, and in the last 12 months, the company paid a total of US$1.60 per share. Based on the last year's worth of payments, East West Bancorp has a trailing yield of 2.3% on the current stock price of $69.85. 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 check whether the dividend payments are covered, and if earnings are 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. East West Bancorp is paying out just 22% of its profit after tax, which is comfortably low and leaves plenty of breathing room in the case of adverse events.
Companies that pay out less in dividends than they earn in profits generally have more sustainable dividends. The lower the payout ratio, the more wiggle room the business has before it could be forced to cut the dividend.
Have Earnings And Dividends Been Growing?
Companies with consistently growing earnings per share generally make the best dividend stocks, as they usually find it easier to grow dividends per share. If earnings decline and the company is forced to cut its dividend, investors could watch the value of their investment go up in smoke. Fortunately for readers, East West Bancorp's earnings per share have been growing at 17% a year for 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 10 years, East West Bancorp has lifted its dividend by approximately 23% a year on average. Both per-share earnings and dividends have both been growing rapidly in recent times, which is great to see.
The Bottom Line
Is East West Bancorp an attractive dividend stock, or better left on the shelf? Companies like East West Bancorp that are growing rapidly and paying out a low fraction of earnings, are usually reinvesting heavily in their business. This is one of the most attractive investment combinations under this analysis, as it can create substantial value for investors over the long run. Overall, East West Bancorp looks like a promising dividend stock in this analysis, and we think it would be worth investigating further.
Wondering what the future holds for East West Bancorp? See what the eight analysts we track are forecasting, with this visualisation of its historical and future estimated earnings and cash flow
A common investing mistake is buying the first interesting stock you see. Here you can find a full list of high-yield dividend stocks.
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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.
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