You Have To Love Stewardship Financial Corporation’s (NASDAQ:SSFN) Dividend

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Is Stewardship Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:SSFN) a good dividend stock? How would you know? Dividend paying companies with growing earnings can be highly rewarding in the long term. Unfortunately, it’s common for investors to be enticed in by the seemingly attractive yield, and lose money when the company has to cut its dividend payments.

A 1.3% yield is nothing to get excited about, but investors probably think the long payment history suggests Stewardship Financial has some staying power. When buying stocks for their dividends, you should always run through the checks below, to see if the dividend looks sustainable.

Explore this interactive chart for our latest analysis on Stewardship Financial!

NasdaqCM:SSFN Historical Dividend Yield, June 7th 2019
NasdaqCM:SSFN Historical Dividend Yield, June 7th 2019

Payout ratios

Dividends are typically paid from company earnings. If a company pays more in dividends than it earned, then the dividend might become unsustainable – hardly an ideal situation. As a result, we should always investigate whether a company can afford its dividend, measured as a percentage of a company’s net income after tax. Stewardship Financial paid out 13% of its profit as dividends, over the trailing twelve month period. We’d say its dividends are thoroughly covered by earnings.

Remember, you can always get a snapshot of Stewardship Financial’s latest financial position, by checking our visualisation of its financial health.

Dividend Volatility

From the perspective of an income investor who wants to earn dividends for many years, there is not much point buying a stock if its dividend is regularly cut or is not reliable. For the purpose of this article, we only scrutinise the last decade of Stewardship Financial’s dividend payments. The dividend has been cut by more than 20% on at least one occasion historically. During the past ten-year period, the first annual payment was US$0.36 in 2009, compared to US$0.12 last year. This works out to a decline of approximately 67% over that time.

We struggle to make a case for buying Stewardship Financial for its dividend, given that payments have shrunk over the past ten years.

Dividend Growth Potential

Given that dividend payments have been shrinking like a glacier in a warming world, we need to check if there are some bright spots on the horizon. Strong earnings per share (EPS) growth might encourage our interest in the company despite fluctuating dividends, which is why it’s great to see Stewardship Financial has grown its earnings per share at 24% per annum over the past five years. Earnings per share have grown rapidly, and the company is retaining a majority of its earnings. We think this is ideal from an investment perspective, if the company is able to reinvest these earnings effectively.

Conclusion

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 Stewardship Financial has a low payout ratio, as this suggests earnings are being reinvested in the business. Next, earnings growth has been good, but unfortunately the dividend has been cut at least once in the past. Stewardship Financial has a number of positive attributes, but falls short of our ideal dividend company. It may be worth a look at the right price, though.

Now, if you want to look closer, it would be worth checking out our free research on Stewardship Financial management tenure, salary, and performance.

We have also put together a list of global stocks with a market capitalisation above $1bn and yielding more 3%.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. 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. Thank you for reading.