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MutualFirst Financial, Inc. (NASDAQ:MFSF)'s Could Be A Buy For Its Upcoming Dividend

Simply Wall St

Some investors rely on dividends for growing their wealth, and if you're one of those dividend sleuths, you might be intrigued to know that MutualFirst Financial, Inc. (NASDAQ:MFSF) is about to go ex-dividend in just 3 days. If you purchase the stock on or after the 12th of September, you won't be eligible to receive this dividend, when it is paid on the 27th of September.

MutualFirst Financial's upcoming dividend is US$0.20 a share, following on from the last 12 months, when the company distributed a total of US$0.80 per share to shareholders. Last year's total dividend payments show that MutualFirst Financial has a trailing yield of 2.7% on the current share price of $30.08. 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! So we need to investigate whether MutualFirst Financial can afford its dividend, and if the dividend could grow.

See our latest analysis for MutualFirst Financial

Dividends are usually paid out of company profits, so if a company pays out more than it earned then its dividend is usually at greater risk of being cut. That's why it's good to see MutualFirst Financial paying out a modest 31% of its earnings.

When a company paid out less in dividends than it earned in profit, this generally suggests its dividend is affordable. The lower the % of its profit that it pays out, the greater the margin of safety for the dividend if the business enters a downturn.

Click here to see the company's payout ratio, plus analyst estimates of its future dividends.

NasdaqGM:MFSF Historical Dividend Yield, September 8th 2019

Have Earnings And Dividends Been Growing?

Companies with consistently growing earnings per share generally make the best dividend stocks, as they usually find it easier to grow dividends per share. If earnings decline and the company is forced to cut its dividend, investors could watch the value of their investment go up in smoke. For this reason, we're glad to see MutualFirst Financial's earnings per share have risen 17% per annum over the last five years.

Another key way to measure a company's dividend prospects is by measuring its historical rate of dividend growth. In the past 10 years, MutualFirst Financial has increased its dividend at approximately 2.3% a year on average. It's good to see both earnings and the dividend have improved - although the former has been rising much quicker than the latter, possibly due to the company reinvesting more of its profits in growth.

To Sum It Up

Should investors buy MutualFirst Financial for the upcoming dividend? When companies are growing rapidly and retaining a majority of the profits within the business, it's usually a sign that reinvesting earnings creates more value than paying dividends to shareholders. This strategy can add significant value to shareholders over the long term - as long as it's done without issuing too many new shares. Overall, MutualFirst Financial looks like a promising dividend stock in this analysis, and we think it would be worth investigating further.

Ever wonder what the future holds for MutualFirst Financial? See what the three analysts we track are forecasting, with this visualisation of its historical and future estimated earnings and cash flow

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.

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.