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Should Income Investors Look At Cambridge Bancorp (NASDAQ:CATC) Before Its Ex-Dividend?

Simply Wall St

Cambridge Bancorp (NASDAQ:CATC) is about to trade ex-dividend in the next 3 days. Ex-dividend means that investors that purchase the stock on or after the 12th of August will not receive this dividend, which will be paid on the 27th of August.

Cambridge Bancorp's upcoming dividend is US$0.53 a share, following on from the last 12 months, when the company distributed a total of US$2.12 per share to shareholders. Calculating the last year's worth of payments shows that Cambridge Bancorp has a trailing yield of 3.6% on the current share price of $58.86. We love seeing companies pay a dividend, but it's also important to be sure that laying the golden eggs isn't going to kill our golden goose! That's why we should always check whether the dividend payments appear sustainable, and if the company is growing.

See our latest analysis for Cambridge Bancorp

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. Cambridge Bancorp paid out more than half (54%) of its earnings last year, which is a regular payout ratio for most companies.

Companies that pay out less in dividends than they earn in profits generally have more sustainable dividends. The lower the payout ratio, the more wiggle room the business has before it could be forced to cut the dividend.

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 that aren't growing their earnings can still be valuable, but it is even more important to assess the sustainability of the dividend if it looks like the company will struggle to grow. If earnings fall far enough, the company could be forced to cut its dividend. It's not encouraging to see that Cambridge Bancorp's earnings are effectively flat over the past five years. Better than seeing them fall off a cliff, for sure, but the best dividend stocks grow their earnings meaningfully over the long run.

We'd also point out that Cambridge Bancorp issued a meaningful number of new shares in the past year. Trying to grow the dividend while issuing large amounts of new shares reminds us of the ancient Greek tale of Sisyphus - perpetually pushing a boulder uphill.

Another key way to measure a company's dividend prospects is by measuring its historical rate of dividend growth. Cambridge Bancorp has delivered 4.9% dividend growth per year on average over the past 10 years.

To Sum It Up

Is Cambridge Bancorp worth buying for its dividend? Cambridge Bancorp has been struggling to generate growth while also paying out more than half of its earnings to shareholders as dividends. At best we would put it on a watch-list to see if business conditions improve, as it doesn't look like a clear opportunity right now.

However if you're still interested in Cambridge Bancorp as a potential investment, you should definitely consider some of the risks involved with Cambridge Bancorp. Every company has risks, and we've spotted 1 warning sign for Cambridge Bancorp you should know about.

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.

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