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Why WVS Financial Corp. (NASDAQ:WVFC) Should Be In Your Dividend Portfolio

Simply Wall St

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Is WVS Financial Corp. (NASDAQ:WVFC) a good dividend stock? How would you know? Dividend paying companies with growing earnings can be highly rewarding in the long term. If you are hoping to live on the income from dividends, it's important to be a lot more stringent with your investments than the average punter.

While WVS Financial's 2.8% dividend yield is not the highest, we think its lengthy payment history is quite interesting. The company also bought back stock during the year, equivalent to approximately 3.2% of the company's market capitalisation at the time. Some simple analysis can reduce the risk of holding WVS Financial for its dividend, and we'll focus on the most important aspects below.

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NasdaqGM:WVFC Historical Dividend Yield, June 20th 2019

Payout ratios

Dividends are usually paid out of company earnings. If a company is paying more than it earns, then the dividend might become unsustainable - hardly an ideal situation. So we need to form a view on if a company's dividend is sustainable, relative to its net profit after tax. WVS Financial paid out 22% of its profit as dividends, over the trailing twelve month period. We'd say its dividends are thoroughly covered by earnings.

Consider getting our latest analysis on WVS Financial's financial position here.

Dividend Volatility

From the perspective of an income investor who wants to earn dividends for many years, there is not much point buying a stock if its dividend is regularly cut or is not reliable. WVS Financial has been paying dividends for a long time, but for the purpose of this analysis, we only examine the past 10 years of payments. This dividend has been unstable, which we define as having fallen by at least 20% one or more times over this time. During the past ten-year period, the first annual payment was US$0.64 in 2009, compared to US$0.48 last year. This works out to be a decline of approximately 2.8% per year over that time. WVS Financial's dividend has been cut sharply at least once, so it hasn't fallen by 2.8% every year, but this is a decent approximation of the long term change.

We struggle to make a case for buying WVS Financial for its dividend, given that payments have shrunk over the past ten years.

Dividend Growth Potential

With a relatively unstable dividend, it's even more important to evaluate if earnings per share (EPS) are growing - it's not worth taking the risk on a dividend getting cut, unless you might be rewarded with larger dividends in future. It's good to see WVS Financial has been growing its earnings per share at 24% a year over the past 5 years. Earnings per share have grown rapidly, and the company is retaining a majority of its earnings. We think this is ideal from an investment perspective, if the company is able to reinvest these earnings effectively.

Conclusion

To summarise, shareholders should always check that WVS Financial's dividends are affordable, that its dividend payments are relatively stable, and that it has decent prospects for growing its earnings and dividend. We're glad to see WVS Financial has a low payout ratio, as this suggests earnings are being reinvested in the business. We were also glad to see it growing earnings, but it was concerning to see the dividend has been cut at least once in the past. Overall we think WVS Financial is an interesting dividend stock, although it could be better.

See if management have their own wealth at stake, by checking insider shareholdings in WVS Financial stock.

We have also put together a list of global stocks with a market capitalisation above $1bn and yielding more 3%.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. 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. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.