Readers hoping to buy Provident Financial Services, Inc. (NYSE:PFS) for its dividend will need to make their move shortly, as the stock is about to trade ex-dividend. If you purchase the stock on or after the 13th of February, you won't be eligible to receive this dividend, when it is paid on the 28th of February.
Provident Financial Services's upcoming dividend is US$0.23 a share, following on from the last 12 months, when the company distributed a total of US$0.92 per share to shareholders. Looking at the last 12 months of distributions, Provident Financial Services has a trailing yield of approximately 4.0% on its current stock price of $23.29. Dividends are an important source of income to many shareholders, but the health of the business is crucial to maintaining those dividends. That's why we should always check whether the dividend payments appear sustainable, and if the company is growing.
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. Provident Financial Services paid out 53% of its earnings to investors last year, a normal payout level for most businesses.
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?
Stocks in companies that generate sustainable earnings growth often make the best dividend prospects, as it is easier to lift the dividend when earnings are rising. 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 encouraged by the steady growth at Provident Financial Services, with earnings per share up 7.4% on average over the last five years.
The main way most investors will assess a company's dividend prospects is by checking the historical rate of dividend growth. Provident Financial Services has delivered an average of 7.7% per year annual increase in its dividend, based on the past ten years of dividend payments. It's encouraging to see the company lifting dividends while earnings are growing, suggesting at least some corporate interest in rewarding shareholders.
Has Provident Financial Services got what it takes to maintain its dividend payments? Provident Financial Services has been generating some growth in earnings per share while paying out more than half of its earnings to shareholders in the form of dividends. We think there are likely better opportunities out there.
Ever wonder what the future holds for Provident Financial Services? See what the five analysts we track are forecasting, with this visualisation of its historical and future estimated earnings and cash flow
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.
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