Today we'll take a closer look at Stock Yards Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:SYBT) from a dividend investor's perspective. Owning a strong business and reinvesting the dividends is widely seen as an attractive way of growing your wealth. Yet sometimes, investors buy a stock for its dividend and lose money because the share price falls by more than they earned in dividend payments.
A slim 2.7% yield is hard to get excited about, but the long payment history is respectable. At the right price, or with strong growth opportunities, Stock Yards Bancorp could have potential. The company also returned around 1.3% of its market capitalisation to shareholders in the form of stock buybacks over the past year. When buying stocks for their dividends, you should always run through the checks below, to see if the dividend looks sustainable.
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. Comparing dividend payments to a company's net profit after tax is a simple way of reality-checking whether a dividend is sustainable. In the last year, Stock Yards Bancorp paid out 36% of its profit as dividends. This is a middling range that strikes a nice balance between paying dividends to shareholders, and retaining enough earnings to invest in future growth. Plus, there is room to increase the payout ratio over time.
Remember, you can always get a snapshot of Stock Yards Bancorp's latest financial position, by checking our visualisation of its financial health.
Before buying a stock for its income, we want to see if the dividends have been stable in the past, and if the company has a track record of maintaining its dividend. For the purpose of this article, we only scrutinise the last decade of Stock Yards Bancorp's dividend payments. During this period the dividend has been stable, which could imply the business could have relatively consistent earnings power. During the past ten-year period, the first annual payment was US$0.45 in 2010, compared to US$1.08 last year. Dividends per share have grown at approximately 9.1% per year over this time.
Companies like this, growing their dividend at a decent rate, can be very valuable over the long term, if the rate of growth can be maintained.
Dividend Growth Potential
Dividend payments have been consistent over the past few years, but we should always check if earnings per share (EPS) are growing, as this will help maintain the purchasing power of the dividend. It's good to see Stock Yards Bancorp has been growing its earnings per share at 17% a year over the past five years. A company paying out less than a quarter of its earnings as dividends, and growing earnings at more than 10% per annum, looks to be right in the cusp of its growth phase. At the right price, we might be interested.
When we look at a dividend stock, we need to form a judgement on whether the dividend will grow, if the company is able to maintain it in a wide range of economic circumstances, and if the dividend payout is sustainable. We're glad to see Stock Yards Bancorp has a low payout ratio, as this suggests earnings are being reinvested in the business. We like that it has been delivering solid improvement in its earnings per share, and relatively consistent dividend payments. Stock Yards Bancorp fits all of our criteria, and we think there are a lot of positives to it from a dividend perspective.
Companies that are growing earnings tend to be the best dividend stocks over the long term. See what the 4 analysts we track are forecasting for Stock Yards Bancorp for free with public analyst estimates for the company.
If you are a dividend investor, you might also want to look at our curated list of dividend stocks yielding above 3%.
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
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