Valley National Bancorp's (NASDAQ:VLY) investors are due to receive a payment of US$0.11 per share on 3rd of January. Based on this payment, the dividend yield on the company's stock will be 3.2%, which is an attractive boost to shareholder returns.
Valley National Bancorp's Payment Has Solid Earnings Coverage
If the payments aren't sustainable, a high yield for a few years won't matter that much. However, prior to this announcement, Valley National Bancorp's dividend was comfortably covered by both cash flow and earnings. This means that most of what the business earns is being used to help it grow.
Looking forward, earnings per share is forecast to fall by 7.4% over the next year. Assuming the dividend continues along recent trends, we believe the payout ratio could be 44%, which we are pretty comfortable with and we think is feasible on an earnings basis.
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. Since 2011, the dividend has gone from US$0.65 to US$0.44. Doing the maths, this is a decline of about 3.9% per year. A company that decreases its dividend over time generally isn't what we are looking for.
The Dividend Looks Likely To Grow
Growing earnings per share could be a mitigating factor when considering the past fluctuations in the dividend. Valley National Bancorp has impressed us by growing EPS at 18% per year over the past five years. Valley National Bancorp definitely has the potential to grow its dividend in the future with earnings on an uptrend and a low payout ratio.
Valley National Bancorp Looks Like A Great Dividend Stock
Overall, we think that this is a great income investment, and we think that maintaining the dividend this year may have been a conservative choice. The company is generating plenty of cash, and the earnings also quite easily cover the distributions. We should point out that the earnings are expected to fall over the next 12 months, which won't be a problem if this doesn't become a trend, but could cause some turbulence in the next year. All in all, this checks a lot of the boxes we look for when choosing an income stock.
It's important to note that companies having a consistent dividend policy will generate greater investor confidence than those having an erratic one. Meanwhile, despite the importance of dividend payments, they are not the only factors our readers should know when assessing a company. As an example, we've identified 2 warning signs for Valley National Bancorp that you should be aware of before investing. If you are a dividend investor, you might also want to look at our curated list of high performing dividend stock.
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