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Be Sure To Check Out First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBNC) Before It Goes Ex-Dividend

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First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBNC) is about to trade ex-dividend in the next four days. The ex-dividend date is one business day before a company's record date, which is the date on which the company determines which shareholders are entitled to receive a dividend. It is important to be aware of the ex-dividend date because any trade on the stock needs to have been settled on or before the record date. Accordingly, First Bancorp investors that purchase the stock on or after the 29th of September will not receive the dividend, which will be paid on the 25th of October.

The company's next dividend payment will be US$0.20 per share. Last year, in total, the company distributed US$0.80 to shareholders. Based on the last year's worth of payments, First Bancorp stock has a trailing yield of around 1.9% on the current share price of $41.57. If you buy this business for its dividend, you should have an idea of whether First Bancorp'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.

Check out our latest analysis for First 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. First Bancorp has a low and conservative payout ratio of just 21% of its income after tax.

Generally speaking, the lower a company's payout ratios, the more resilient its dividend usually is.

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. Investors love dividends, so if earnings fall and the dividend is reduced, expect a stock to be sold off heavily at the same time. It's encouraging to see First Bancorp has grown its earnings rapidly, up 22% a year for the past five years.

The main way most investors will assess a company's dividend prospects is by checking the historical rate of dividend growth. First Bancorp has delivered an average of 9.6% per year annual increase in its dividend, based on the past 10 years of dividend payments. We're glad to see dividends rising alongside earnings over a number of years, which may be a sign the company intends to share the growth with shareholders.

To Sum It Up

Should investors buy First Bancorp for the upcoming dividend? When companies are growing rapidly and retaining a majority of the profits within the business, it's usually a sign that reinvesting earnings creates more value than paying dividends to shareholders. Perhaps even more importantly - this can sometimes signal management is focused on the long term future of the business. First Bancorp ticks a lot of boxes for us from a dividend perspective, and we think these characteristics should mark the company as deserving of further attention.

Wondering what the future holds for First Bancorp? See what the four analysts we track are forecasting, with this visualisation of its historical and future estimated earnings and cash flow

A common investment mistake is buying the first interesting stock you see. Here you can find a list of promising 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.

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