Bank of the James Financial Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:BOTJ) is about to trade ex-dividend in the next 4 days. Typically, the ex-dividend date is one business day before the record date which is the date on which a company determines the shareholders eligible 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. Accordingly, Bank of the James Financial Group investors that purchase the stock on or after the 3rd of June will not receive the dividend, which will be paid on the 18th of June.
The company's upcoming dividend is US$0.07 a share, following on from the last 12 months, when the company distributed a total of US$0.28 per share to shareholders. Based on the last year's worth of payments, Bank of the James Financial Group stock has a trailing yield of around 1.5% on the current share price of $18.3563. 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.
If a company pays out more in dividends than it earned, then the dividend might become unsustainable - hardly an ideal situation. Bank of the James Financial Group is paying out just 21% of its profit after tax, which is comfortably low and leaves plenty of breathing room in the case of adverse events.
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. Investors love dividends, so if earnings fall and the dividend is reduced, expect a stock to be sold off heavily at the same time. This is why it's a relief to see Bank of the James Financial Group earnings per share are up 4.6% per annum 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. Bank of the James Financial Group has delivered an average of 4.9% per year annual increase in its dividend, based on the past seven years of dividend payments. 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.
Should investors buy Bank of the James Financial Group for the upcoming dividend? 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. Overall, Bank of the James Financial Group looks like a promising dividend stock in this analysis, and we think it would be worth investigating further.
With that in mind, a critical part of thorough stock research is being aware of any risks that stock currently faces. Our analysis shows 2 warning signs for Bank of the James Financial Group and you should be aware of them before buying any shares.
We wouldn't recommend just buying the first dividend stock you see, though. Here's a list of interesting dividend stocks with a greater than 2% yield and an upcoming dividend.
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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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