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Shore Bancshares (NASDAQ:SHBI) Has Affirmed Its Dividend Of US$0.12

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Shore Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:SHBI) will pay a dividend of US$0.12 on the 7th of March. Based on this payment, the dividend yield will be 2.3%, which is fairly typical for the industry.

View our latest analysis for Shore Bancshares

Shore Bancshares' Earnings Easily Cover the Distributions

Unless the payments are sustainable, the dividend yield doesn't mean too much. Based on the last payment, Shore Bancshares was quite comfortably earning enough to cover the dividend. This indicates that a lot of the earnings are being reinvested into the business, with the aim of fueling growth.

The next year is set to see EPS grow by 39.1%. If the dividend continues on this path, the payout ratio could be 57% by next year, which we think can be pretty sustainable going forward.


Dividend Volatility

While the company has been paying a dividend for a long time, it has cut the dividend at least once in the last 10 years. The first annual payment during the last 10 years was US$0.24 in 2012, and the most recent fiscal year payment was US$0.48. This means that it has been growing its distributions at 7.2% per annum over that time. A reasonable rate of dividend growth is good to see, but we're wary that the dividend history is not as solid as we'd like, having been cut at least once.

Shore Bancshares May Find It Hard To Grow The Dividend

With a relatively unstable dividend, it's even more important to evaluate if earnings per share is growing, which could point to a growing dividend in the future. However, Shore Bancshares' EPS was effectively flat over the past five years, which could stop the company from paying more every year. The company has been growing at a pretty soft 0.4% per annum, and is paying out quite a lot of its earnings to shareholders. While this isn't necessarily a negative, it definitely signals that dividend growth could be constrained in the future unless earnings start to pick up again.

We'd also point out that Shore Bancshares has issued stock equal to 65% of shares outstanding. Trying to grow the dividend when issuing new shares reminds us of the ancient Greek tale of Sisyphus - perpetually pushing a boulder uphill. Companies that consistently issue new shares are often suboptimal from a dividend perspective.

Our Thoughts On Shore Bancshares' Dividend

In summary, we are pleased with the dividend remaining consistent, and we think there is a good chance of this continuing in the future. The dividend has been at reasonable levels historically, but that hasn't translated into a consistent payment. This looks like it could be a good dividend stock going forward, but we would note that the payout ratio has been at higher levels in the past so it could happen again.

Market movements attest to how highly valued a consistent dividend policy is compared to one which is more unpredictable. However, there are other things to consider for investors when analysing stock performance. To that end, Shore Bancshares has 3 warning signs (and 1 which is a bit concerning) we think you should know about. Is Shore Bancshares not quite the opportunity you were looking for? Why not check out our selection of top dividend stocks.

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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.