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Read This Before Considering Sterling Bancorp (NYSE:STL) For Its Upcoming US$0.07 Dividend

Shares of Sterling Bancorp (NYSE:STL) will begin trading ex-dividend in 4 days. To qualify for the dividend check of US$0.07 per share, investors must have owned the shares prior to 02 November 2018, which is the last day the company’s management will finalize their list of shareholders to which they will send dividend payments. What does this mean for current shareholders and potential investors? Below, I will explain how holding Sterling Bancorp can impact your portfolio income stream, by analysing the stock’s most recent financial data and dividend attributes.

View our latest analysis for Sterling Bancorp

5 questions to ask before buying a dividend stock

Whenever I am looking at a potential dividend stock investment, I always check these five metrics:

  • Is it the top 25% annual dividend yield payer?
  • Has it paid dividend every year without dramatically reducing payout in the past?
  • Has dividend per share amount increased over the past?
  • Is is able to pay the current rate of dividends from its earnings?
  • Based on future earnings growth, will it be able to continue to payout dividend at the current rate?
NYSE:STL Historical Dividend Yield October 28th 18

How well does Sterling Bancorp fit our criteria?

The company currently pays out 22% of its earnings as a dividend, according to its trailing twelve-month data, meaning the dividend is sufficiently covered by earnings. However, going forward, analysts expect STL’s payout to fall to 14% of its earnings, which leads to a dividend yield of 1.7%. However, EPS should increase to $2.01, meaning that the lower payout ratio does not necessarily implicate a lower dividend payment.

When assessing the forecast sustainability of a dividend it is also worth considering the cash flow of the business. A company with strong cash flow, relative to earnings, can sometimes sustain a high pay out ratio.

If there is one thing that you want to be reliable in your life, it’s dividend stocks and their constant income stream. STL has increased its DPS from $0.24 to $0.28 in the past 10 years. During this period it has not missed a payment, as one would expect for a company increasing its dividend. These are all positive signs of a great, reliable dividend stock.

In terms of its peers, Sterling Bancorp produces a yield of 1.6%, which is on the low-side for Banks stocks.

Next Steps:

Keeping in mind the dividend characteristics above, Sterling Bancorp is definitely worth considering for investors looking to build a dedicated income portfolio. Given that this is purely a dividend analysis, you should always research extensively before deciding whether or not a stock is an appropriate investment for you. I always recommend analysing the company’s fundamentals and underlying business before making an investment decision. I’ve put together three pertinent aspects you should look at:

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for STL’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for STL’s outlook.
  2. Valuation: What is STL worth today? Even if the stock is a cash cow, it’s not worth an infinite price. The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether STL is currently mispriced by the market.
  3. Other Dividend Rockstars: Are there better dividend payers with stronger fundamentals out there? Check out our free list of these great stocks here.

To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.

The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com.