Could City Holding Company (NASDAQ:CHCO) be an attractive dividend share to own for the long haul? Investors are often drawn to strong companies with the idea of reinvesting the dividends. 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.
While City Holding's 2.8% dividend yield is not the highest, we think its lengthy payment history is quite interesting. The company also bought back stock during the year, equivalent to approximately 2.8% of the company's market capitalisation at the time. Some simple analysis can offer a lot of insights when buying a company for its dividend, and we'll go through this below.
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. In the last year, City Holding paid out 41% of its profit as dividends. This is a medium payout level that leaves enough capital in the business to fund opportunities that might arise, while also rewarding shareholders. One of the risks is that management reinvests the retained capital poorly instead of paying a higher dividend.
Consider getting our latest analysis on City Holding's financial position here.
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. City Holding has been paying dividends for a long time, but for the purpose of this analysis, we only examine the past 10 years of payments. During this period the dividend has been stable, which could imply the business could have relatively consistent earnings power. During the past 10-year period, the first annual payment was US$1.4 in 2011, compared to US$2.3 last year. This works out to be a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 5.5% a year over that time.
Companies like this, growing their dividend at a decent rate, can be very valuable over the long term, if the rate of growth can be maintained.
Dividend Growth Potential
Dividend payments have been consistent over the past few years, but we should always check if earnings per share (EPS) are growing, as this will help maintain the purchasing power of the dividend. Earnings have grown at around 9.4% a year for the past five years, which is better than seeing them shrink! Earnings per share have been growing at a credible rate. What's more, the payout ratio is reasonable and provides some protection to the dividend, or even the potential to increase it.
To summarise, shareholders should always check that City Holding'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 City Holding has a low and conservative payout ratio. That said, we were glad to see it growing earnings and paying a fairly consistent dividend. City Holding fits all of our criteria, and we think there are a lot of positives to it from a dividend perspective.
Market movements attest to how highly valued a consistent dividend policy is compared to one which is more unpredictable. However, there are other things to consider for investors when analysing stock performance. To that end, City Holding has 2 warning signs (and 1 which doesn't sit too well with us) we think you should know about.
If you are a dividend investor, you might also want to look at our curated list of dividend stocks yielding above 3%.
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What are the risks and opportunities for City Holding?
Trading at 35.6% below our estimate of its fair value
Earnings are forecast to grow 3.82% per year
Earnings grew by 15.9% over the past year
Significant insider selling over the past 3 months
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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City Holding Company operates as a holding company for City National Bank of West Virginia that provides various banking, trust and investment management, and other financial solutions in the United States.
Flawless balance sheet with solid track record and pays a dividend.