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Is It Smart To Buy First Community Corporation (NASDAQ:FCCO) Before It Goes Ex-Dividend?

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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 First Community Corporation (NASDAQ:FCCO) 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 important because any transaction on a stock needs to have been settled before the record date in order to be eligible for a dividend. Accordingly, First Community investors that purchase the stock on or after the 2nd of August will not receive the dividend, which will be paid on the 17th of August.

The company's next dividend payment will be US$0.12 per share. Last year, in total, the company distributed US$0.48 to shareholders. Based on the last year's worth of payments, First Community has a trailing yield of 2.3% on the current stock price of $20.79. If you buy this business for its dividend, you should have an idea of whether First Community's dividend is reliable and sustainable. So we need to investigate whether First Community can afford its dividend, and if the dividend could grow.

Check out our latest analysis for First Community

Dividends are typically paid from company earnings. If a company pays more in dividends than it earned in profit, then the dividend could be unsustainable. Fortunately First Community's payout ratio is modest, at just 28% of profit.

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.

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

historic-dividend
historic-dividend

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. Investors love dividends, so if earnings fall and the dividend is reduced, expect a stock to be sold off heavily at the same time. Fortunately for readers, First Community's earnings per share have been growing at 13% a year for the past five years.

Another key way to measure a company's dividend prospects is by measuring its historical rate of dividend growth. In the past 10 years, First Community has increased its dividend at approximately 12% a year on average. It's great to see earnings per share growing rapidly over several years, and dividends per share growing right along with it.

The Bottom Line

Has First Community got what it takes to maintain its dividend payments? Companies like First Community that are growing rapidly and paying out a low fraction of earnings, are usually reinvesting heavily in their business. Perhaps even more importantly - this can sometimes signal management is focused on the long term future of the business. Overall, First Community looks like a promising dividend stock in this analysis, and we think it would be worth investigating further.

Ever wonder what the future holds for First Community? 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.

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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

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