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Simmons First National Corporation (NASDAQ:SFNC) stock is about to trade ex-dividend in 4 days. Typically, the ex-dividend date is one business day before the record date which is the date on which a company determines the shareholders eligible to receive a dividend. The ex-dividend date is important as the process of settlement involves two full business days. So if you miss that date, you would not show up on the company's books on the record date. Meaning, you will need to purchase Simmons First National's shares before the 14th of June to receive the dividend, which will be paid on the 6th of July.
The company's upcoming dividend is US$0.18 a share, following on from the last 12 months, when the company distributed a total of US$0.72 per share to shareholders. Looking at the last 12 months of distributions, Simmons First National has a trailing yield of approximately 2.3% on its current stock price of $31.74. Dividends are a major contributor to investment returns for long term holders, but only if the dividend continues to be paid. As a result, readers should always check whether Simmons First National has been able to grow its dividends, or if the dividend might be cut.
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. Simmons First National paid out a comfortable 31% of its profit last year.
Generally speaking, the lower a company's payout ratios, the more resilient its dividend usually is.
Have Earnings And Dividends Been Growing?
Businesses with strong growth prospects usually make the best dividend payers, because it's easier to grow dividends when earnings per share are improving. If earnings fall far enough, the company could be forced to cut its dividend. For this reason, we're glad to see Simmons First National's earnings per share have risen 11% per annum over the last five years.
Many investors will assess a company's dividend performance by evaluating how much the dividend payments have changed over time. Simmons First National has delivered an average of 6.6% per year annual increase in its dividend, based on the past 10 years of dividend payments. We're glad to see dividends rising alongside earnings over a number of years, which may be a sign the company intends to share the growth with shareholders.
To Sum It Up
Is Simmons First National an attractive dividend stock, or better left on the shelf? Typically, companies that are growing rapidly and paying out a low fraction of earnings are keeping the profits for reinvestment in the business. Perhaps even more importantly - this can sometimes signal management is focused on the long term future of the business. Overall, Simmons First National looks like a promising dividend stock in this analysis, and we think it would be worth investigating further.
Ever wonder what the future holds for Simmons First National? See what the six analysts we track are forecasting, with this visualisation of its historical and future estimated earnings and cash flow
We wouldn't recommend just buying the first dividend stock you see, though. Here's a list of interesting 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.
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