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Why Farmers & Merchants Bancorp Inc. (FMAO) is a Great Dividend Stock Right Now

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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 when you're an income investor, your primary focus is generating consistent cash flow from each of your liquid investments.

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

Based in Archbold, Farmers & Merchants Bancorp Inc. (FMAO) is in the Finance sector, and so far this year, shares have seen a price change of 19.57%. The company is paying out a dividend of $0.17 per share at the moment, with a dividend yield of 2.47% compared to the Banks - Northeast industry's yield of 1.87% and the S&P 500's yield of 1.39%.

Taking a look at the company's dividend growth, its 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%, meaning it paid out 40% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.

FMAO is expecting earnings to expand this fiscal year as well. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2021 is $1.83 per share, which represents a year-over-year growth rate of 8.93%.

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. However, not all companies offer a quarterly payout.

Big, established firms that have more secure profits are often seen as the best dividend options, but it's fairly uncommon to see high-growth businesses or tech start-ups offer their stockholders a dividend. Income investors must be conscious of the fact that high-yielding stocks tend to struggle during periods of rising interest rates. 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