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Is Horizon Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:HBNC) An Attractive Dividend Stock?

Simply Wall St

Dividend paying stocks like Horizon Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:HBNC) tend to be popular with investors, and for good reason - some research suggests a significant amount of all stock market returns come from reinvested dividends. If you are hoping to live on your dividends, it's important to be more stringent with your investments than the average punter. Regular readers know we like to apply the same approach to each dividend stock, and we hope you'll find our analysis useful.

A 2.8% yield is nothing to get excited about, but investors probably think the long payment history suggests Horizon Bancorp has some staying power. There are a few simple ways to reduce the risks of buying Horizon Bancorp for its dividend, and we'll go through these below.

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NasdaqGS:HBNC Historical Dividend Yield, October 18th 2019

Payout ratios

Dividends are typically paid from company earnings. If a company pays more in dividends than it earned, then the dividend might become unsustainable - hardly an ideal situation. So we need to form a view on if a company's dividend is sustainable, relative to its net profit after tax. In the last year, Horizon Bancorp paid out 31% of its profit as dividends. 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.

Consider getting our latest analysis on Horizon Bancorp's financial position here.

Dividend Volatility

From the perspective of an income investor who wants to earn dividends for many years, there is not much point buying a stock if its dividend is regularly cut or is not reliable. Horizon Bancorp has been paying dividends for a long time, but for the purpose of this analysis, we only examine the past 10 years of 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$0.13 in 2009, compared to US$0.48 last year. Dividends per share have grown at approximately 14% per year over this time.

Dividends have been growing pretty quickly, and even more impressively, they haven't experienced any notable falls during this period.

Dividend Growth Potential

While dividend payments have been relatively reliable, it would also be nice if earnings per share (EPS) were growing, as this is essential to maintaining the dividend's purchasing power over the long term. Earnings have grown at around 5.8% a year for the past five years, which is better than seeing them shrink! It's good to see decent earnings growth and a low payout ratio. Companies with these characteristics often display the fastest dividend growth over the long term - assuming earnings can be maintained, of course.

Conclusion

Dividend investors should always want to know if a) a company's dividends are affordable, b) if there is a track record of consistent payments, and c) if the dividend is capable of growing. We're glad to see Horizon Bancorp has a low payout ratio, as this suggests earnings are being reinvested in the business. Earnings growth has been limited, but we like that the dividend payments have been fairly consistent. Horizon Bancorp has a credible record on several fronts, but falls slightly short of our standards for a dividend stock.

Earnings growth generally bodes well for the future value of company dividend payments. See if the 4 Horizon Bancorp analysts we track are forecasting continued growth with our free report on analyst estimates for the company.

We have also put together a list of global stocks with a market capitalisation above $1bn and yielding more 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.