Regular readers will know that we love our dividends at Simply Wall St, which is why it's exciting to see First Guaranty Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:FGBI) 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. It is important to be aware of the ex-dividend date because any trade on the stock needs to have been settled on or before the record date. Thus, you can purchase First Guaranty Bancshares' shares before the 18th of June in order to receive the dividend, which the company will pay on the 30th of June.
The company's next dividend payment will be US$0.16 per share, on the back of last year when the company paid a total of US$0.64 to shareholders. Based on the last year's worth of payments, First Guaranty Bancshares stock has a trailing yield of around 3.3% on the current share price of $19.36. If you buy this business for its dividend, you should have an idea of whether First Guaranty Bancshares's dividend is reliable and sustainable. We need to see whether the dividend is covered by earnings and if it's growing.
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. First Guaranty Bancshares paid out a comfortable 29% of its profit last year.
Generally speaking, the lower a company's payout ratios, the more resilient its dividend usually is.
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. If earnings decline and the company is forced to cut its dividend, investors could watch the value of their investment go up in smoke. With that in mind, we're encouraged by the steady growth at First Guaranty Bancshares, with earnings per share up 5.8% 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. In the last 10 years, First Guaranty Bancshares has lifted its dividend by approximately 3.9% a year on average. We're glad to see dividends rising alongside earnings over a number of years, which may be a sign the company intends to share the growth with shareholders.
The Bottom Line
Is First Guaranty Bancshares an attractive dividend stock, or better left on the shelf? It has been growing its earnings per share somewhat in recent years, although it reinvests more than half its earnings in the business, which could suggest there are some growth projects that have not yet reached fruition. In summary, First Guaranty Bancshares appears to have some promise as a dividend stock, and we'd suggest taking a closer look at it.
On that note, you'll want to research what risks First Guaranty Bancshares is facing. To help with this, we've discovered 1 warning sign for First Guaranty Bancshares that you should be aware of before investing in their shares.
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.
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