U.S. Markets open in 6 hrs 15 mins
  • S&P Futures

    3,362.25
    -20.75 (-0.61%)
     
  • Dow Futures

    27,183.00
    -182.00 (-0.67%)
     
  • Nasdaq Futures

    11,536.00
    -52.00 (-0.45%)
     
  • Russell 2000 Futures

    1,572.00
    -17.00 (-1.07%)
     
  • Crude Oil

    38.53
    -1.04 (-2.63%)
     
  • Gold

    1,908.20
    -3.70 (-0.19%)
     
  • Silver

    24.58
    +0.01 (+0.02%)
     
  • EUR/USD

    1.1779
    -0.0011 (-0.0942%)
     
  • 10-Yr Bond

    0.7780
    0.0000 (0.00%)
     
  • Vix

    33.35
    +0.89 (+2.74%)
     
  • GBP/USD

    1.3061
    +0.0019 (+0.1489%)
     
  • USD/JPY

    104.1780
    -0.3160 (-0.3024%)
     
  • BTC-USD

    13,693.67
    -56.97 (-0.41%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    270.38
    +9.09 (+3.48%)
     
  • FTSE 100

    5,728.99
    -63.02 (-1.09%)
     
  • Nikkei 225

    23,418.51
    -75.79 (-0.32%)
     

Lakeland Bancorp, Inc.'s (NASDAQ:LBAI) 5.1% Dividend Yield Looks Pretty Interesting

Simply Wall St
·4 mins read

Today we'll take a closer look at Lakeland Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:LBAI) from a dividend investor's perspective. Owning a strong business and reinvesting the dividends is widely seen as an attractive way of growing your wealth. Yet sometimes, investors buy a popular dividend stock because of its yield, and then lose money if the company's dividend doesn't live up to expectations.

With Lakeland Bancorp yielding 5.1% and having paid a dividend for over 10 years, many investors likely find the company quite interesting. It would not be a surprise to discover that many investors buy it for the dividends. Remember that the recent share price drop will make Lakeland Bancorp's yield look higher, even though recent events might have impacted the company's prospects. When buying stocks for their dividends, you should always run through the checks below, to see if the dividend looks sustainable.

Explore this interactive chart for our latest analysis on Lakeland Bancorp!

NasdaqGS:LBAI Historical Dividend Yield April 16th 2020
NasdaqGS:LBAI Historical Dividend Yield April 16th 2020

Payout ratios

Companies (usually) pay dividends out of their earnings. If a company is paying more than it earns, the dividend might have to be cut. As a result, we should always investigate whether a company can afford its dividend, measured as a percentage of a company's net income after tax. Looking at the data, we can see that 35% of Lakeland Bancorp's profits were paid out as dividends in the last 12 months. 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.

We update our data on Lakeland Bancorp every 24 hours, so you can always get our latest analysis of its financial health, here.

Dividend Volatility

Before buying a stock for its income, we want to see if the dividends have been stable in the past, and if the company has a track record of maintaining its dividend. For the purpose of this article, we only scrutinise the last decade of Lakeland Bancorp's dividend payments. Its dividend payments have declined on at least one occasion over the past ten years. During the past ten-year period, the first annual payment was US$0.35 in 2010, compared to US$0.50 last year. This works out to be a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 3.8% a year over that time. The dividends haven't grown at precisely 3.8% every year, but this is a useful way to average out the historical rate of growth.

Modest growth in the dividend is good to see, but we think this is offset by historical cuts to the payments. It is hard to live on a dividend income if the company's earnings are not consistent.

Dividend Growth Potential

With a relatively unstable dividend, it's even more important to evaluate if earnings per share (EPS) are growing - it's not worth taking the risk on a dividend getting cut, unless you might be rewarded with larger dividends in future. It's good to see Lakeland Bancorp has been growing its earnings per share at 11% a year over the past five years. A company paying out less than a quarter of its earnings as dividends, and growing earnings at more than 10% per annum, looks to be right in the cusp of its growth phase. At the right price, we might be interested.

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 Lakeland Bancorp has a low payout ratio, as this suggests earnings are being reinvested in the business. We were also glad to see it growing earnings, but it was concerning to see the dividend has been cut at least once in the past. Overall we think Lakeland Bancorp is an interesting dividend stock, although it could be better.

Companies possessing a stable dividend policy will likely enjoy greater investor interest than those suffering from a more inconsistent approach. Still, investors need to consider a host of other factors, apart from dividend payments, when analysing a company. To that end, Lakeland Bancorp has 4 warning signs (and 1 which shouldn't be ignored) we think you should know about.

Looking for more high-yielding dividend ideas? Try our curated list of dividend stocks with a yield above 3%.

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.

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. Thank you for reading.