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Why Farmers & Merchants Bancorp Inc. (FMAO) is a Top Dividend Stock for Your Portfolio

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Zacks Equity Research
·3 min read
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Whether it's through stocks, bonds, ETFs, or other types of securities, all investors love seeing their portfolios score big returns. But for income investors, generating consistent cash flow from each of your liquid investments is your primary focus.

Cash flow can come from bond interest, interest from other types of investments, and of course, 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 make up large portions of long-term returns, and in many cases, dividend contributions surpass one-third of total returns.

Farmers & Merchants Bancorp Inc. In Focus

Farmers & Merchants Bancorp Inc. (FMAO) is headquartered in Archbold, and is in the Finance sector. The stock has seen a price change of 9.35% since the start of the year. The company is currently shelling out a dividend of $0.17 per share, with a dividend yield of 2.7%. This compares to the Banks - Northeast industry's yield of 1.95% and the S&P 500's yield of 1.34%.

Looking at dividend growth, the company's current annualized dividend of $0.68 is up 3% from last year. Farmers & Merchants Bancorp Inc. has increased its dividend 5 times on a year-over-year basis over the last 5 years for an average annual increase of 9.96%. 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. Farmers & Merchants Bancorp Inc.'s current payout ratio is 40%. This means it paid out 40% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.

Looking at this fiscal year, FMAO expects solid earnings growth. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2021 is $1.85 per share, with earnings expected to increase 10.12% from the year ago period.

Bottom Line

Investors like dividends for many reasons; they greatly improve stock investing profits, decrease overall portfolio risk, and carry tax advantages, among others. However, not all companies offer 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. During periods of rising interest rates, income investors must be mindful that high-yielding stocks tend to struggle. With that in mind, FMAO 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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Zacks Investment Research