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First Interstate BancSystem (NASDAQ:FIBK) Has Affirmed Its Dividend Of $0.41

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First Interstate BancSystem, Inc. (NASDAQ:FIBK) will pay a dividend of $0.41 on the 19th of August. This means the annual payment is 4.0% of the current stock price, which is above the average for the industry.

See our latest analysis for First Interstate BancSystem

First Interstate BancSystem's Dividend Forecasted To Be Well Covered By Earnings

A big dividend yield for a few years doesn't mean much if it can't be sustained.

First Interstate BancSystem has established itself as a dividend paying company with over 10 years history of distributing earnings to shareholders. Past distributions unfortunately do not guarantee future ones, and First Interstate BancSystem's last earnings report actually showed that the company went over its net earnings in its total dividend distribution. This is very worrying for shareholders, as this shows that First Interstate BancSystem will not be able to sustain its dividend at its current rate.

The next 3 years are set to see EPS grow by 161.7%. Despite the current payout ratio being slightly elevated, analysts estimate the future payout ratio will be 43% over the same time period, which would make us comfortable with the sustainability of the dividend.

historic-dividend
historic-dividend

First Interstate BancSystem Has A Solid Track Record

The company has been paying a dividend for a long time, and it has been quite stable which gives us confidence in the future dividend potential. Since 2012, the dividend has gone from $0.45 total annually to $1.64. This works out to be a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 14% a year over that time. Rapidly growing dividends for a long time is a very valuable feature for an income stock.

Dividend Growth Potential Is Shaky

Some investors will be chomping at the bit to buy some of the company's stock based on its dividend history. However, initial appearances might be deceiving. Over the past five years, it looks as though First Interstate BancSystem's EPS has declined at around 11% a year. Such rapid declines definitely have the potential to constrain dividend payments if the trend continues into the future. It's not all bad news though, as the earnings are predicted to rise over the next 12 months - we would just be a bit cautious until this becomes a long term trend.

We should note that First Interstate BancSystem has issued stock equal to 73% of shares outstanding. Regularly doing this can be detrimental - it's hard to grow dividends per share when new shares are regularly being created.

Our Thoughts On First Interstate BancSystem's Dividend

In summary, while it's good to see that the dividend hasn't been cut, we are a bit cautious about First Interstate BancSystem's payments, as there could be some issues with sustaining them into the future. Although they have been consistent in the past, we think the payments are a little high to be sustained. We don't think First Interstate BancSystem is a great stock to add to your portfolio if income is your focus.

It's important to note that companies having a consistent dividend policy will generate greater investor confidence than those having an erratic one. However, there are other things to consider for investors when analysing stock performance. To that end, First Interstate BancSystem has 4 warning signs (and 1 which is potentially serious) we think you should know about. If you are a dividend investor, you might also want to look at our curated list of high yield dividend stocks.

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

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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