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Why Bar Harbor Bankshares (BHB) is a Top Dividend Stock for Your Portfolio

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All investors love getting big returns from their portfolio, whether it's through stocks, bonds, ETFs, or other types of securities. But for income investors, generating consistent cash flow from each of your liquid investments is your primary focus.

While cash flow can come from bond interest or interest from other types of investments, income investors hone in on dividends. A dividend is the distribution of a company's earnings paid out to shareholders; it's often viewed by its dividend yield, a metric that measures a dividend as a percent of the current stock price. Many academic studies show that dividends account for significant portions of long-term returns, with dividend contributions exceeding one-third of total returns in many cases.

Bar Harbor Bankshares in Focus

Headquartered in Bar Harbor, Bar Harbor Bankshares (BHB) is a Finance stock that has seen a price change of 19.83% so far this year. The bank is currently shelling out a dividend of $0.24 per share, with a dividend yield of 3.55%. This compares to the Banks - Northeast industry's yield of 2% and the S&P 500's yield of 1.35%.

Looking at dividend growth, the company's current annualized dividend of $0.96 is up 9.1% from last year. In the past five-year period, Bar Harbor Bankshares has increased its dividend 4 times on a year-over-year basis for an average annual increase of 5.17%. Future dividend growth will depend on earnings growth as well as payout ratio, which is the proportion of a company's annual earnings per share that it pays out as a dividend. Right now, Bar Harbor's payout ratio is 36%, which means it paid out 36% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.

Looking at this fiscal year, BHB expects solid earnings growth. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2021 is $2.56 per share, with earnings expected to increase 11.79% from the year ago period.

Bottom Line

From greatly improving stock investing profits and reducing overall portfolio risk to providing tax advantages, investors like dividends for a variety of different reasons. It's important to keep in mind that not all companies provide a quarterly payout.

For instance, it's a rare occurrence when a tech start-up or big growth business offers their shareholders a dividend. It's more common to see larger companies with more established profits give out dividends. Income investors have to be mindful of the fact that high-yielding stocks tend to struggle during periods of rising interest rates. With that in mind, BHB is a compelling investment opportunity. Not only is it a strong dividend play, but the stock currently sits at a Zacks Rank of 3 (Hold).


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