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There's A Lot To Like About Simmons First National Corporation's (NASDAQ:SFNC) Upcoming 0.7% Dividend

Simply Wall St

Some investors rely on dividends for growing their wealth, and if you're one of those dividend sleuths, you might be intrigued to know that Simmons First National Corporation (NASDAQ:SFNC) is about to go ex-dividend in just 4 days. Investors can purchase shares before the 13th of September in order to be eligible for this dividend, which will be paid on the 4th of October.

Simmons First National's next dividend payment will be US$0.16 per share. Last year, in total, the company distributed US$0.64 to shareholders. Calculating the last year's worth of payments shows that Simmons First National has a trailing yield of 2.7% on the current share price of $23.59. Dividends are an important source of income to many shareholders, but the health of the business is crucial to maintaining those dividends. We need to see whether the dividend is covered by earnings and if it's growing.

Check out our latest analysis for Simmons First National

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. That's why it's good to see Simmons First National paying out a modest 27% of its earnings.

Companies that pay out less in dividends than they earn in profits generally have more sustainable dividends. The lower the payout ratio, the more wiggle room the business has before it could be forced to cut the dividend.

Click here to see the company's payout ratio, plus analyst estimates of its future dividends.

NasdaqGS:SFNC Historical Dividend Yield, September 8th 2019

Have Earnings And Dividends Been Growing?

Businesses with strong growth prospects usually make the best dividend payers, because it's easier to grow dividends when earnings per share are improving. Investors love dividends, so if earnings fall and the dividend is reduced, expect a stock to be sold off heavily at the same time. That's why it's comforting to see Simmons First National's earnings have been skyrocketing, up 26% per annum for the past five years.

Many investors will assess a company's dividend performance by evaluating how much the dividend payments have changed over time. In the last 10 years, Simmons First National has lifted its dividend by approximately 5.4% a year on average. Earnings per share have been growing much quicker than dividends, potentially because Simmons First National is keeping back more of its profits to grow the business.

Final Takeaway

Is Simmons First National an attractive dividend stock, or better left on the shelf? Companies like Simmons First National that are growing rapidly and paying out a low fraction of earnings, are usually reinvesting heavily in their business. This strategy can add significant value to shareholders over the long term - as long as it's done without issuing too many new shares. Overall, Simmons First National looks like a promising dividend stock in this analysis, and we think it would be worth investigating further.

Curious what other investors think of Simmons First National? See what analysts are forecasting, with this visualisation of its historical and future estimated earnings and cash flow .

If you're in the market for dividend stocks, we recommend checking our list of top dividend stocks with a greater than 2% yield and an upcoming dividend.

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.

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. Thank you for reading.