Attention dividend hunters! The First Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ:FNLC) will be distributing its dividend of US$0.29 per share on the 31 October 2018, and will start trading ex-dividend in 2 days time on the 05 October 2018. Investors looking for higher income-generating stocks to add to their portfolio should keep reading, as I examine First Bancorp’s latest financial data to analyse its dividend characteristics.
5 checks you should do on a dividend stock
Whenever I am looking at a potential dividend stock investment, I always check these five metrics:
- Is it paying an annual yield above 75% of dividend payers?
- Has it paid dividend every year without dramatically reducing payout in the past?
- Has dividend per share risen in the past couple of years?
- Is is able to pay the current rate of dividends from its earnings?
- Will it be able to continue to payout at the current rate in the future?
Does First Bancorp pass our checks?
The company currently pays out 51.0% of its earnings as a dividend, according to its trailing twelve-month data, meaning the dividend is sufficiently covered by earnings. Furthermore, analysts have not forecasted a dividends per share for the future, which makes it hard to determine the yield shareholders should expect, and whether the current payout is sustainable, moving forward.
If you want to dive deeper into the sustainability of a certain payout ratio, you may wish to consider the cash flow of the business. Cash flow is important because companies with strong cash flow can usually sustain higher payout ratios.
Reliablity is an important factor for dividend stocks, particularly for income investors who want a strong track record of payment and a positive outlook for future payout. In the case of FNLC it has increased its DPS from $0.78 to $1.16 in the past 10 years. It has also been paying out dividend consistently during this time, as you’d expect for a company increasing its dividend levels. This is an impressive feat, which makes FNLC a true dividend rockstar.
Relative to peers, First Bancorp produces a yield of 4.0%, which is high for Banks stocks.
Taking into account the dividend metrics, First Bancorp ticks most of the boxes as a strong dividend investment, putting it in my list of top dividend payers. Given that this is purely a dividend analysis, I urge potential investors to try and get a good understanding of the underlying business and its fundamentals before deciding on an investment. There are three important aspects you should further examine:
- Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for FNLC’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for FNLC’s outlook.
- Valuation: What is FNLC worth today? Even if the stock is a cash cow, it’s not worth an infinite price. The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether FNLC is currently mispriced by the market.
- Other Dividend Rockstars: Are there better dividend payers with stronger fundamentals out there? Check out our free list of these great stocks here.
To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.
The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at email@example.com.