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Should SpareBank 1 Nord-Norge (OB:NONG) Be Part Of Your Dividend Portfolio?

Simply Wall St

Could SpareBank 1 Nord-Norge (OB:NONG) be an attractive dividend share to own for the long haul? Investors are often drawn to strong companies with the idea of reinvesting the dividends. Yet sometimes, investors buy a stock for its dividend and lose money because the share price falls by more than they earned in dividend payments.

With SpareBank 1 Nord-Norge yielding 5.3% and having paid a dividend for over 10 years, many investors likely find the company quite interesting. It would not be a surprise to discover that many investors buy it for the dividends. The company also returned around 2.0% of its market capitalisation to shareholders in the form of stock buybacks over the past year. Some simple analysis can offer a lot of insights when buying a company for its dividend, and we'll go through this below.

Click the interactive chart for our full dividend analysis

OB:NONG Historical Dividend Yield, December 23rd 2019

Payout ratios

Companies (usually) pay dividends out of their earnings. If a company is paying more than it earns, the dividend might have to be cut. Comparing dividend payments to a company's net profit after tax is a simple way of reality-checking whether a dividend is sustainable. Looking at the data, we can see that 40% of SpareBank 1 Nord-Norge's profits were paid out as dividends in the last 12 months. A medium payout ratio strikes a good balance between paying dividends, and keeping enough back to invest in the business. Plus, there is room to increase the payout ratio over time.

We update our data on SpareBank 1 Nord-Norge every 24 hours, so you can always get our latest analysis of its financial health, here.

Dividend Volatility

Before buying a stock for its income, we want to see if the dividends have been stable in the past, and if the company has a track record of maintaining its dividend. SpareBank 1 Nord-Norge has been paying dividends for a long time, but for the purpose of this analysis, we only examine the past 10 years of payments. This dividend has been unstable, which we define as having fallen by at least 20% one or more times over this time. During the past ten-year period, the first annual payment was kr1.13 in 2009, compared to kr4.00 last year. This works out to be a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 14% a year over that time. The growth in dividends has not been linear, but the CAGR is a decent approximation of the rate of change over this time frame.

SpareBank 1 Nord-Norge has grown distributions at a rapid rate despite cutting the dividend at least once in the past. Companies that cut once often cut again, but it might be worth considering if the business has turned a corner.

Dividend Growth Potential

Given that the dividend has been cut in the past, we need to check if earnings are growing and if that might lead to stronger dividends in the future. While there may be fluctuations in the past , SpareBank 1 Nord-Norge's earnings per share have basically not grown from where they were five years ago. Over the long term, steady earnings per share is a risk as the value of the dividends can be reduced by inflation. A payout ratio below 50% leaves ample room to reinvest in the business, and provides finanical flexibility. However, earnings per share are unfortunately not growing much. Might this suggest that the company should pay a higher dividend instead?

Conclusion

To summarise, shareholders should always check that SpareBank 1 Nord-Norge's dividends are affordable, that its dividend payments are relatively stable, and that it has decent prospects for growing its earnings and dividend. We're glad to see SpareBank 1 Nord-Norge has a low payout ratio, as this suggests earnings are being reinvested in the business. Second, earnings have been essentially flat, and its history of dividend payments is chequered - having cut its dividend at least once in the past. In summary, we're unenthused by SpareBank 1 Nord-Norge as a dividend stock. It's not that we think it is a bad company; it simply falls short of our criteria in some key areas.

Earnings growth generally bodes well for the future value of company dividend payments. See if the 5 SpareBank 1 Nord-Norge analysts we track are forecasting continued growth with our free report on analyst estimates for the company.

We have also put together a list of global stocks with a market capitalisation above $1bn and yielding more 3%.

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.

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. Thank you for reading.