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Preferred Bank (NASDAQ:PFBC) Looks Interesting, And It's About To Pay A 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 Preferred Bank (NASDAQ:PFBC) is about to go ex-dividend in just 3 days. If you purchase the stock on or after the 4th of October, you won't be eligible to receive this dividend, when it is paid on the 21st of October.

Preferred Bank's next dividend payment will be US$0.3 per share, and in the last 12 months, the company paid a total of US$1.2 per share. Based on the last year's worth of payments, Preferred Bank stock has a trailing yield of around 2.3% on the current share price of $52.6. If you buy this business for its dividend, you should have an idea of whether Preferred Bank's dividend is reliable and sustainable. That's why we should always check whether the dividend payments appear sustainable, and if the company is growing.

View our latest analysis for Preferred Bank

Dividends are typically paid out of company income, so if a company pays out more than it earned, its dividend is usually at a higher risk of being cut. Preferred Bank has a low and conservative payout ratio of just 23% of its income after tax.

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.

NasdaqGS:PFBC Historical Dividend Yield, September 30th 2019

Have Earnings And Dividends Been Growing?

Stocks in companies that generate sustainable earnings growth often make the best dividend prospects, as it is easier to lift the dividend when earnings are rising. If earnings decline and the company is forced to cut its dividend, investors could watch the value of their investment go up in smoke. That's why it's comforting to see Preferred Bank's earnings have been skyrocketing, up 28% per annum for the past five years.

Another key way to measure a company's dividend prospects is by measuring its historical rate of dividend growth. Preferred Bank's dividend payments per share have declined at 5.0% per year on average over the past ten years, which is uninspiring. It's unusual to see earnings per share increasing at the same time as dividends per share have been in decline. We'd hope it's because the company is reinvesting heavily in its business, but it could also suggest business is lumpy.

The Bottom Line

Has Preferred Bank got what it takes to maintain its dividend payments? Typically, companies that are growing rapidly and paying out a low fraction of earnings are keeping the profits for reinvestment in the business. Perhaps even more importantly - this can sometimes signal management is focused on the long term future of the business. Overall, Preferred Bank 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 Preferred Bank? See what the six analysts we track are forecasting, with this visualisation of its historical and future estimated earnings and cash flow

If you're in the market for dividend stocks, we recommend checking our list of top 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.