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Is It Smart To Buy Great Southern Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:GSBC) Before It Goes Ex-Dividend?

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Great Southern Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:GSBC) is about to trade ex-dividend in the next 3 days. The ex-dividend date is one business day before the record date, which is the cut-off date for shareholders to be present on the company's books to be eligible for a dividend payment. The ex-dividend date is important because any transaction on a stock needs to have been settled before the record date in order to be eligible for a dividend. Meaning, you will need to purchase Great Southern Bancorp's shares before the 24th of September to receive the dividend, which will be paid on the 12th of October.

The company's upcoming dividend is US$0.36 a share, following on from the last 12 months, when the company distributed a total of US$1.36 per share to shareholders. Based on the last year's worth of payments, Great Southern Bancorp has a trailing yield of 2.7% on the current stock price of $53.14. If you buy this business for its dividend, you should have an idea of whether Great Southern Bancorp's dividend is reliable and sustainable. So we need to investigate whether Great Southern Bancorp can afford its dividend, and if the dividend could grow.

Check out our latest analysis for Great Southern Bancorp

Dividends are typically paid from company earnings. If a company pays more in dividends than it earned in profit, then the dividend could be unsustainable. Fortunately Great Southern Bancorp's payout ratio is modest, at just 27% of profit.

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.

historic-dividend
historic-dividend

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 business enters a downturn and the dividend is cut, the company could see its value fall precipitously. This is why it's a relief to see Great Southern Bancorp earnings per share are up 8.8% 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 last 10 years, Great Southern Bancorp has lifted its dividend by approximately 7.2% a year on average. It's encouraging to see the company lifting dividends while earnings are growing, suggesting at least some corporate interest in rewarding shareholders.

To Sum It Up

Should investors buy Great Southern Bancorp for the upcoming dividend? It has been growing its earnings per share somewhat in recent years, although it reinvests more than half its earnings in the business, which could suggest there are some growth projects that have not yet reached fruition. We think this is a pretty attractive combination, and would be interested in investigating Great Southern Bancorp more closely.

While it's tempting to invest in Great Southern Bancorp for the dividends alone, you should always be mindful of the risks involved. Our analysis shows 1 warning sign for Great Southern Bancorp and you should be aware of this before buying any shares.

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.

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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.