It looks like Shore Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:SHBI) is about to go ex-dividend in the next 2 days. This means that investors who purchase shares on or after the 15th of August will not receive the dividend, which will be paid on the 30th of August.
Shore Bancshares’s next dividend payment will be US$0.10 per share. Last year, in total, the company distributed US$0.40 to shareholders. Last year’s total dividend payments show that Shore Bancshares has a trailing yield of 2.6% on the current share price of $15.61. Dividends are a major contributor to investment returns for long term holders, but only if the dividend continues to be paid. So we need to check whether the dividend payments are covered, and if earnings are 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. That’s why it’s good to see Shore Bancshares paying out a modest 29% of its earnings.
When a company paid out less in dividends than it earned in profit, this generally suggests its dividend is affordable. The lower the % of its profit that it pays out, the greater the margin of safety for the dividend if the business enters a downturn.
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. It’s encouraging to see Shore Bancshares has grown its earnings rapidly, up 30% 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. Shore Bancshares’s dividend payments per share have declined at 4.6% per year on average over the past 10 years, which is uninspiring. It’s unusual to see earnings per share increasing at the same time as dividends per share have been in decline. We’d hope it’s because the company is reinvesting heavily in its business, but it could also suggest business is lumpy.
To Sum It Up
Should investors buy Shore Bancshares for the upcoming dividend? Companies like Shore Bancshares that are growing rapidly and paying out a low fraction of earnings, are usually reinvesting heavily in their business. This strategy can add significant value to shareholders over the long term – as long as it’s done without issuing too many new shares. In summary, Shore Bancshares appears to have some promise as a dividend stock, and we’d suggest taking a closer look at it.
Curious what other investors think of Shore Bancshares? See what analysts are forecasting, with this visualisation of its historical and future estimated earnings and cash flow .
If you’re in the market for dividend stocks, we recommend checking our list of top dividend stocks with a greater than 2% yield and an upcoming dividend.
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