Why SpareBank 1 Østlandet (OB:SPOL) Is A Dividend Rockstar

Want to participate in a short research study? Help shape the future of investing tools and you could win a $250 gift card!

Is SpareBank 1 Østlandet (OB:SPOL) a good dividend stock? How would you know? Dividend paying companies with growing earnings can be highly rewarding in the long term. If you are hoping to live on the income from dividends, it’s important to be a lot more stringent with your investments than the average punter.

Some readers mightn’t know much about SpareBank 1 Østlandet’s 4.9% dividend, as it has only been paying distributions for a year or so. Some simple research can reduce the risk of buying SpareBank 1 Østlandet for its dividend – read on to learn more.

Click the interactive chart for our full dividend analysis

OB:SPOL Historical Dividend Yield, June 14th 2019
OB:SPOL Historical Dividend Yield, June 14th 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. So we need to form a view on if a company’s dividend is sustainable, relative to its net profit after tax. SpareBank 1 Østlandet paid out 38% of its profit as dividends, over the trailing twelve month period. This is medium payout level that leaves enough capital in the business to fund opportunities that might arise, while also rewarding shareholders. Plus, there is room to increase the payout ratio over time.

We update our data on SpareBank 1 Østlandet every 24 hours, so you can always get our latest analysis of its financial health, here.

Dividend Volatility

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. This company has been paying a dividend for less than 2 years, which we think is too soon to consider it a reliable dividend stock. During the past one-year period, the first annual payment was øre3.96 in 2018, compared to øre4.12 last year. Dividends per share have grown at approximately 4.0% per year over this time.

Modest dividend growth is good to see, especially with the payments being relatively stable. However, the payment history is relatively short and we wouldn’t want to rely on this dividend too much.

Dividend Growth Potential

The other half of the dividend investing equation is evaluating whether earnings per share (EPS) are growing. Over the long term, dividends need to grow at or above the rate of inflation, in order to maintain the recipient’s purchasing power. Strong earnings per share (EPS) growth might encourage our interest in the company despite fluctuating dividends, which is why it’s great to see SpareBank 1 Østlandet has grown its earnings per share at 16% per annum over the past five years. Earnings per share have been growing at a good rate, and the company is paying less than half its earnings as dividends. We generally think this is an attractive combination, as it permits further reinvestment in the business.

We’d also point out that SpareBank 1 Østlandet issued a meaningful number of new shares in the past year. Regularly issuing new shares can be detrimental – it’s hard to grow dividends per share when new shares are regularly being created.

Conclusion

To summarise, shareholders should always check that SpareBank 1 Østlandet’s dividends are affordable, that its dividend payments are relatively stable, and that it has decent prospects for growing its earnings and dividend. Firstly, we like that SpareBank 1 Østlandet has a low and conservative payout ratio. We were also glad to see it growing earnings, although its dividend history is not as long as we’d like. SpareBank 1 Østlandet 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.

Earnings growth generally bodes well for the future value of company dividend payments. See if the 4 SpareBank 1 Østlandet analysts we track are forecasting continued growth with our free report on analyst estimates for the company.

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.