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This is Why Central Valley Community Bancorp (CVCY) is a Great Dividend Stock

Zacks Equity Research

Whether it's through stocks, bonds, ETFs, or other types of securities, all investors love seeing their portfolios score big returns. However, when you're an income investor, your primary focus is generating consistent cash flow from each of your liquid investments.

While cash flow can come from bond interest or interest from other types of investments, income investors hone in on dividends. A dividend is that coveted distribution of a company's earnings paid out to shareholders, and investors often view it by its dividend yield, a metric that measures the 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.

Central Valley Community Bancorp in Focus

Central Valley Community Bancorp (CVCY) is headquartered in Fresno, and is in the Finance sector. The stock has seen a price change of 6.2% since the start of the year. The holding company for Central Valley Community Bank is paying out a dividend of $0.11 per share at the moment, with a dividend yield of 2.2% compared to the Banks - West industry's yield of 2.01% and the S&P 500's yield of 2.03%.

Looking at dividend growth, the company's current annualized dividend of $0.44 is up 41.9% from last year. Central Valley Community Bancorp has increased its dividend 3 times on a year-over-year basis over the last 5 years for an average annual increase of 11.53%. Any future dividend growth will depend on both earnings growth and the company's payout ratio; a payout ratio is the proportion of a firm's annual earnings per share that it pays out as a dividend. Central Valley Community Bancorp's current payout ratio is 26%, meaning it paid out 26% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.

Looking at this fiscal year, CVCY expects solid earnings growth. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2019 is $1.57 per share, representing a year-over-year earnings growth rate of 1.95%.

Bottom Line

Investors like dividends for many reasons; they greatly improve stock investing profits, decrease overall portfolio risk, and carry tax advantages, among others. 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, CVCY 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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