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Why You Might Be Interested In Washington Trust Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:WASH) For Its Upcoming Dividend

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Readers hoping to buy Washington Trust Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:WASH) for its dividend will need to make their move shortly, as the stock is about to trade ex-dividend. You will need to purchase shares before the 30th of September to receive the dividend, which will be paid on the 9th of October.

Washington Trust Bancorp's next dividend payment will be US$0.51 per share. Last year, in total, the company distributed US$2.04 to shareholders. Based on the last year's worth of payments, Washington Trust Bancorp has a trailing yield of 6.6% on the current stock price of $30.82. Dividends are a major contributor to investment returns for long term holders, but only if the dividend continues to be paid. That's why we should always check whether the dividend payments appear sustainable, and if the company is growing.

See our latest analysis for Washington Trust Bancorp

Dividends are typically paid out of company income, so if a company pays out more than it earned, its dividend is usually at a higher risk of being cut. Washington Trust Bancorp is paying out an acceptable 53% of its profit, a common payout level among most companies.

When a company paid out less in dividends than it earned in profit, this generally suggests its dividend is affordable. The lower the % of its profit that it pays out, the greater the margin of safety for the dividend if the business enters a downturn.

Click here to see the company's payout ratio, plus analyst estimates of its future dividends.

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Have Earnings And Dividends Been Growing?

Businesses with strong growth prospects usually make the best dividend payers, because it's easier to grow dividends when earnings per share are improving. If business enters a downturn and the dividend is cut, the company could see its value fall precipitously. This is why it's a relief to see Washington Trust Bancorp earnings per share are up 9.7% per annum over the last five years.

Many investors will assess a company's dividend performance by evaluating how much the dividend payments have changed over time. Washington Trust Bancorp has delivered an average of 9.3% per year annual increase in its dividend, based on the past 10 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.

To Sum It Up

From a dividend perspective, should investors buy or avoid Washington Trust Bancorp? Earnings per share have been growing at a reasonable rate, and the company is paying out a bit over half its earnings as dividends. We're unconvinced on the company's merits, and think there might be better opportunities out there.

However if you're still interested in Washington Trust Bancorp as a potential investment, you should definitely consider some of the risks involved with Washington Trust Bancorp. For example - Washington Trust Bancorp has 1 warning sign we think you should be aware of.

A common investment mistake is buying the first interesting stock you see. Here you can find a list of promising 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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