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Washington Trust Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:WASH) Should Be In Your Dividend Portfolio, Here’s Why

Gabriel Boyd

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Washington Trust Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:WASH) is a true Dividend Rock Star. Its yield of 3.5% makes it one of the market’s top dividend payer. In the past ten years, Washington Trust Bancorp has also grown its dividend from $0.84 to $1.88. Below, I have outlined more attractive dividend aspects for Washington Trust Bancorp for income investors who may be interested in new dividend stocks for their portfolio.

See our latest analysis for Washington Trust Bancorp

What Is A Dividend Rock Star?

It is a stock that pays a stable and consistent dividend, having done so reliably for the past decade with the expectation of this continuing into the future. More specifically:

  • It is paying an annual yield above 75% of dividend payers
  • It consistently pays out dividend without missing a payment or significantly cutting payout
  • Its dividend per share amount has increased over the past
  • It is able to pay the current rate of dividends from its earnings
  • It is able to continue to payout at the current rate in the future

High Yield And Dependable

Washington Trust Bancorp’s dividend yield stands at 3.5%, which is high for Banks stocks. But the real reason Washington Trust Bancorp stands out is because it has a proven track record of continuously paying out this level of dividends, from earnings, to shareholders and can be expected to continue paying in the future. This is a highly desirable trait for a stock holding if you’re investor who wants a robust cash inflow from your portfolio over a long period of time.

NasdaqGS:WASH Historical Dividend Yield, February 22nd 2019

Reliablity is an important factor for dividend stocks, particularly for income investors who want a strong track record of payment and a positive outlook for future payout. WASH has increased its DPS from $0.84 to $1.88 in the past 10 years. It has also been paying out dividend consistently during this time, as you’d expect for a company increasing its dividend levels. This is an impressive feat, which makes WASH a true dividend rockstar.

Washington Trust Bancorp has a trailing twelve-month payout ratio of 45%, meaning the dividend is sufficiently covered by earnings. In the near future, analysts are predicting a payout ratio of 44% which, assuming the share price stays the same, leads to a dividend yield of 3.6%. In addition to this, EPS should increase to $4.07.

If you want to dive deeper into the sustainability of a certain payout ratio, you may wish to consider the cash flow of the business. A business with strong cash flow can sustain a higher divided payout ratio than a company with weak cash flow.

Next Steps:

With Washington Trust Bancorp producing strong dividend income for your portfolio over the past few years, you can take comfort in knowing that this stock will still continue to be a top dividend generator moving forward. However, given this is purely a dividend analysis, I urge potential investors to try and get a good understanding of the underlying business and its fundamentals before deciding on an investment. There are three pertinent factors you should further research:

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for WASH’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for WASH’s outlook.
  2. Valuation: What is WASH worth today? Even if the stock is a cash cow, it’s not worth an infinite price. The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether WASH is currently mispriced by the market.
  3. Other Dividend Rockstars: Are there strong dividend payers with better fundamentals out there? Check out our free list of these great stocks here.

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.