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What To Know Before Buying Ohio Valley Banc Corp. (NASDAQ:OVBC) For Its Dividend

Simply Wall St

Could Ohio Valley Banc Corp. (NASDAQ:OVBC) be an attractive dividend share to own for the long haul? Investors are often drawn to strong companies with the idea of reinvesting the dividends. If you are hoping to live on the income from dividends, it's important to be a lot more stringent with your investments than the average punter.

A 2.4% yield is nothing to get excited about, but investors probably think the long payment history suggests Ohio Valley Banc has some staying power. Some simple analysis can reduce the risk of holding Ohio Valley Banc for its dividend, and we'll focus on the most important aspects below.

Click the interactive chart for our full dividend analysis

NasdaqGM:OVBC Historical Dividend Yield, October 14th 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. Comparing dividend payments to a company's net profit after tax is a simple way of reality-checking whether a dividend is sustainable. In the last year, Ohio Valley Banc paid out 40% of its profit as dividends. This is a middling range that strikes a nice balance between paying dividends to shareholders, and retaining enough earnings to invest in future growth. Besides, if reinvestment opportunities dry up, the company has room to increase the dividend.

Consider getting our latest analysis on Ohio Valley Banc's financial position here.

Dividend Volatility

One of the major risks of relying on dividend income, is the potential for a company to struggle financially and cut its dividend. Not only is your income cut, but the value of your investment declines as well - nasty. Ohio Valley Banc has been paying dividends for a long time, but for the purpose of this analysis, we only examine the past 10 years of payments. The dividend has been stable over the past 10 years, which is great. We think this could suggest some resilience to the business and its dividends. During the past ten-year period, the first annual payment was US$0.76 in 2009, compared to US$0.84 last year. This works out to be a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 1.0% a year over that time.

While the consistency in the dividend payments is impressive, we think the relatively slow rate of growth is unappealing.

Dividend Growth Potential

Dividend payments have been consistent over the past few years, but we should always check if earnings per share (EPS) are growing, as this will help maintain the purchasing power of the dividend. Ohio Valley Banc's earnings per share have been essentially flat over the past five years. Flat earnings per share are acceptable for a time, but over the long term, the purchasing power of the company's dividends could be eroded by inflation. Ohio Valley Banc is paying out less than half of its earnings, which we like. However, earnings per share are unfortunately not growing much. Might this suggest that the company should pay a higher dividend instead?

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. Firstly, we like that Ohio Valley Banc has a low and conservative payout ratio. Second, earnings growth is pretty limited, but at least the dividends have been relatively stable. Overall we think Ohio Valley Banc is an interesting dividend stock, although it could be better.

Now, if you want to look closer, it would be worth checking out our free research on Ohio Valley Banc management tenure, salary, and performance.

Looking for more high-yielding dividend ideas? Try our curated list of dividend stocks with a yield above 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.