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First Foundation Inc. (NASDAQ:FFWM) Looks Interesting, And It's About To Pay A Dividend

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Regular readers will know that we love our dividends at Simply Wall St, which is why it's exciting to see First Foundation Inc. (NASDAQ:FFWM) is about to trade ex-dividend in the next 3 days. The ex-dividend date is one business day before a company's record date, which is the date on which the company determines which shareholders are entitled to receive a dividend. It is important to be aware of the ex-dividend date because any trade on the stock needs to have been settled on or before the record date. Accordingly, First Foundation investors that purchase the stock on or after the 6th of August will not receive the dividend, which will be paid on the 20th of August.

The company's next dividend payment will be US$0.09 per share, and in the last 12 months, the company paid a total of US$0.36 per share. Last year's total dividend payments show that First Foundation has a trailing yield of 1.5% on the current share price of $23.57. Dividends are an important source of income to many shareholders, but the health of the business is crucial to maintaining those dividends. That's why we should always check whether the dividend payments appear sustainable, and if the company is growing.

Check out our latest analysis for First Foundation

Dividends are typically paid from company earnings. If a company pays more in dividends than it earned in profit, then the dividend could be unsustainable. First Foundation has a low and conservative payout ratio of just 14% of its income after tax.

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.

historic-dividend
historic-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. It's encouraging to see First Foundation has grown its earnings rapidly, up 31% a year for the past five years.

Another key way to measure a company's dividend prospects is by measuring its historical rate of dividend growth. Since the start of our data, three years ago, First Foundation has lifted its dividend by approximately 22% a year on average. It's exciting to see that both earnings and dividends per share have grown rapidly over the past few years.

The Bottom Line

Should investors buy First Foundation for the upcoming dividend? Companies like First Foundation that are growing rapidly and paying out a low fraction of earnings, are usually reinvesting heavily in their business. This strategy can add significant value to shareholders over the long term - as long as it's done without issuing too many new shares. We think this is a pretty attractive combination, and would be interested in investigating First Foundation more closely.

With that in mind, a critical part of thorough stock research is being aware of any risks that stock currently faces. Every company has risks, and we've spotted 1 warning sign for First Foundation you should know about.

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.

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. 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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.