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American River Bankshares (NASDAQ:AMRB) is about to trade ex-dividend in the next four days. The ex-dividend date is one business day before a company's record date, which is the date on which the company determines which shareholders are entitled to receive a dividend. The ex-dividend date is of consequence because whenever a stock is bought or sold, the trade takes at least two business day to settle. In other words, investors can purchase American River Bankshares' shares before the 27th of July in order to be eligible for the dividend, which will be paid on the 5th of August.
The company's next dividend payment will be US$0.07 per share. Last year, in total, the company distributed US$0.28 to shareholders. Looking at the last 12 months of distributions, American River Bankshares has a trailing yield of approximately 1.5% on its current stock price of $18.88. We love seeing companies pay a dividend, but it's also important to be sure that laying the golden eggs isn't going to kill our golden goose! We need to see whether the dividend is covered by earnings and if it's growing.
If a company pays out more in dividends than it earned, then the dividend might become unsustainable - hardly an ideal situation. American River Bankshares is paying out just 20% of its profit after tax, which is comfortably low and leaves plenty of breathing room in the case of adverse events.
Companies that pay out less in dividends than they earn in profits generally have more sustainable dividends. The lower the payout ratio, the more wiggle room the business has before it could be forced to cut the dividend.
Have Earnings And Dividends Been Growing?
Companies with consistently growing earnings per share generally make the best dividend stocks, as they usually find it easier to grow dividends per share. If business enters a downturn and the dividend is cut, the company could see its value fall precipitously. For this reason, we're glad to see American River Bankshares's earnings per share have risen 15% per annum over the last five years.
Another key way to measure a company's dividend prospects is by measuring its historical rate of dividend growth. American River Bankshares has delivered an average of 8.8% per year annual increase in its dividend, based on the past four years of dividend payments. We're glad to see dividends rising alongside earnings over a number of years, which may be a sign the company intends to share the growth with shareholders.
From a dividend perspective, should investors buy or avoid American River Bankshares? Typically, companies that are growing rapidly and paying out a low fraction of earnings are keeping the profits for reinvestment in the business. Perhaps even more importantly - this can sometimes signal management is focused on the long term future of the business. In summary, American River Bankshares appears to have some promise as a dividend stock, and we'd suggest taking a closer look at it.
With that in mind, a critical part of thorough stock research is being aware of any risks that stock currently faces. To help with this, we've discovered 1 warning sign for American River Bankshares that you should be aware of before investing in their shares.
We wouldn't recommend just buying the first dividend stock you see, though. Here's a list of interesting dividend stocks with a greater than 2% yield and an upcoming dividend.
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. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.
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