Are You An Income Investor? Don’t Miss Out On Bank of Marin Bancorp (NASDAQ:BMRC)

Dividend paying stocks like Bank of Marin Bancorp (NASDAQ:BMRC) tend to be popular with investors, and for good reason – some research shows that a significant amount of all stock market returns come from reinvested dividends. 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.

While Bank of Marin Bancorp’s 1.8% dividend yield is not the highest, we think its lengthy payment history is quite interesting. The company also bought back stock equivalent to around 1.1% of market capitalisation this year. There are a few simple ways to reduce the risks of buying Bank of Marin Bancorp for its dividend, and we’ll go through these below.

Explore this interactive chart for our latest analysis on Bank of Marin Bancorp!
NasdaqCM:BMRC Historical Dividend Yield, April 22nd 2019
NasdaqCM:BMRC Historical Dividend Yield, April 22nd 2019

Payout ratios

Companies (usually) pay dividends out of their earnings. If a company is paying more than it earns, the dividend might have to be cut. Comparing dividend payments to a company’s net profit after tax is a simple way of reality-checking whether a dividend is sustainable. Bank of Marin Bancorp paid out 27% 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. Besides, if reinvestment opportunities dry up, the company has room to increase the dividend.

Consider getting our latest analysis on Bank of Marin Bancorp’s financial position here.

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 Bank of Marin Bancorp’s dividend payments. The dividend has been stable over the past 10 years, which is great. We think this could suggest some resilience to the business and its dividends. During the past ten-year period, the first annual payment was US$0.28 in 2009, compared to US$0.76 last year. Dividends per share have grown at approximately 11% per year over this time.

Dividend Growth Potential

While dividend payments have been relatively stable, it would also be nice if earnings per share (EPS) were growing, as this is essential to maintaining the dividend’s purchasing power over the long term. Strong earnings per share (EPS) growth might encourage our interest in the company despite fluctuating dividends, which is why it’s great to see Bank of Marin Bancorp has grown its earnings per share at 12% per annum 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.

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. Firstly, we like that Bank of Marin Bancorp has a low and conservative payout ratio. We like that it has been delivering solid earnings growth and relatively consistent dividend payments.

Earnings growth generally bodes well for the future value of company dividend payments. See if the 3 Bank of Marin Bancorp analysts we track are forecasting continued growth with our free report on analyst estimates for the company.

Looking for more high-yielding dividend ideas? Try our curated list of dividend stocks with a yield above 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.