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First Financial Bankshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:FFIN) Has Got What It Takes To Be An Attractive Dividend Stock

Simply Wall St

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Today we'll take a closer look at First Financial Bankshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:FFIN) from a dividend investor's perspective. Owning a strong business and reinvesting the dividends is widely seen as an attractive way of growing your wealth. If you are hoping to live on the income from dividends, it's important to be a lot more stringent with your investments than the average punter.

A 1.6% yield is nothing to get excited about, but investors probably think the long payment history suggests First Financial Bankshares has some staying power. Some simple analysis can reduce the risk of holding First Financial Bankshares for its dividend, and we'll focus on the most important aspects below.

Explore this interactive chart for our latest analysis on First Financial Bankshares!

NasdaqGS:FFIN Historical Dividend Yield, June 19th 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. Comparing dividend payments to a company's net profit after tax is a simple way of reality-checking whether a dividend is sustainable. Looking at the data, we can see that 36% of First Financial Bankshares's profits were paid out as dividends in the last 12 months. A medium payout ratio strikes a good balance between paying dividends, and keeping enough back to invest in the business. Besides, if reinvestment opportunities dry up, the company has room to increase the dividend.

Remember, you can always get a snapshot of First Financial Bankshares's latest financial position, by checking our visualisation of its financial health.

Dividend Volatility

One of the major risks of relying on dividend income, is the potential for a company to struggle financially and cut its dividend. Not only is your income cut, but the value of your investment declines as well - nasty. For the purpose of this article, we only scrutinise the last decade of First Financial Bankshares's dividend payments. During this period the dividend has been stable, which could imply the business could have relatively consistent earnings power. During the past ten-year period, the first annual payment was US$0.23 in 2009, compared to US$0.48 last year. Dividends per share have grown at approximately 7.8% per year over this time.

Dividends have grown at a reasonable rate over this period, and without any major cuts in the payment over time, we think this is an attractive combination.

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. It's good to see First Financial Bankshares has been growing its earnings per share at 13% a year over the past 5 years. Earnings per share have been growing at a good rate, and the company is paying less than half its earnings as dividends. We generally think this is an attractive combination, as it permits further reinvestment in the business.

Conclusion

To summarise, shareholders should always check that First Financial Bankshares's dividends are affordable, that its dividend payments are relatively stable, and that it has decent prospects for growing its earnings and dividend. Firstly, we like that First Financial Bankshares has a low and conservative payout ratio. We like that it has been delivering solid improvement in its earnings per share, and relatively consistent dividend payments. Overall, we think there are a lot of positives to First Financial Bankshares from a dividend perspective.

Companies that are growing earnings tend to be the best dividend stocks over the long term. See what the 6 analysts we track are forecasting for First Financial Bankshares for free with public analyst estimates for the company.

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.