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Are You Looking for a High-Growth Dividend Stock? First Interstate BancSystem (FIBK) Could Be a Great Choice

Zacks Equity Research

Whether it's through stocks, bonds, ETFs, or other types of securities, all investors love seeing their portfolios score big returns. But for income investors, generating consistent cash flow from each of your liquid investments is your primary focus.

Cash flow can come from bond interest, interest from other types of investments, and of course, dividends. A dividend is that coveted distribution of a company's earnings paid out to shareholders, and investors often view it by its dividend yield, a metric that measures the dividend as a percent of the current stock price. Many academic studies show that dividends make up large portions of long-term returns, and in many cases, dividend contributions surpass one-third of total returns.

First Interstate BancSystem in Focus

First Interstate BancSystem (FIBK) is headquartered in Billings, and is in the Finance sector. The stock has seen a price change of 4.51% since the start of the year. The holding company for First Interstate Bank is currently shelling out a dividend of $0.31 per share, with a dividend yield of 3.25%. This compares to the Banks - Midwest industry's yield of 2.6% and the S&P 500's yield of 1.92%.

In terms of dividend growth, the company's current annualized dividend of $1.24 is up 10.7% from last year. In the past five-year period, First Interstate BancSystem has increased its dividend 5 times on a year-over-year basis for an average annual increase of 13.52%. Future dividend growth will depend on earnings growth as well as payout ratio, which is the proportion of a company's annual earnings per share that it pays out as a dividend. First Interstate BancSystem's current payout ratio is 42%, meaning it paid out 42% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.

Earnings growth looks solid for FIBK for this fiscal year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2019 is $3.07 per share, representing a year-over-year earnings growth rate of 11.64%.

Bottom Line

Investors like dividends for many reasons; they greatly improve stock investing profits, decrease overall portfolio risk, and carry tax advantages, among others. However, not all companies offer a quarterly payout.

For instance, it's a rare occurrence when a tech start-up or big growth business offers their shareholders a dividend. It's more common to see larger companies with more established profits give out dividends. Income investors have to be mindful of the fact that high-yielding stocks tend to struggle during periods of rising interest rates. That said, they can take comfort from the fact that FIBK is not only an attractive dividend play, but is also a compelling investment opportunity with a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy).


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