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Regular readers will know that we love our dividends at Simply Wall St, which is why it's exciting to see Premier Financial Corp. (NASDAQ:PFC) is about to trade ex-dividend in the next three days. Investors can purchase shares before the 13th of August in order to be eligible for this dividend, which will be paid on the 21st of August.
Premier Financial's upcoming dividend is US$0.22 a share, following on from the last 12 months, when the company distributed a total of US$0.88 per share to shareholders. Looking at the last 12 months of distributions, Premier Financial has a trailing yield of approximately 4.4% on its current stock price of $20.02. Dividends are an important source of income to many shareholders, but the health of the business is crucial to maintaining those dividends. So we need to investigate whether Premier Financial can afford its dividend, and if the dividend could grow.
Dividends are usually paid out of company profits, so if a company pays out more than it earned then its dividend is usually at greater risk of being cut. Premier Financial paid out 72% of its earnings to investors last year, a normal payout level for most businesses.
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.
Have Earnings And Dividends Been Growing?
Stocks with flat earnings can still be attractive dividend payers, but it is important to be more conservative with your approach and demand a greater margin for safety when it comes to dividend sustainability. Investors love dividends, so if earnings fall and the dividend is reduced, expect a stock to be sold off heavily at the same time. With that in mind, we're not enthused to see that Premier Financial's earnings per share have remained effectively flat over the past five years. It's better than seeing them drop, certainly, but over the long term, all of the best dividend stocks are able to meaningfully grow their earnings per share.
Many investors will assess a company's dividend performance by evaluating how much the dividend payments have changed over time. Since the start of our data, 10 years ago, Premier Financial has lifted its dividend by approximately 27% a year on average.
The Bottom Line
Should investors buy Premier Financial for the upcoming dividend? Premier Financial's earnings per share have been essentially flat, and the company is paying out more than half of its earnings as dividends to shareholders. These characteristics don't generally lead to outstanding dividend performance, and investors may not be happy with the results of owning this stock for its dividend.
So if you're still interested in Premier Financial despite it's poor dividend qualities, you should be well informed on some of the risks facing this stock. To help with this, we've discovered 5 warning signs for Premier Financial (1 can't be ignored!) that you ought to be aware of before buying the 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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