Is It Smart To Buy First Community Corporation (NASDAQ:FCCO) Before It Goes Ex-Dividend?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
October 25, 2020
NasdaqCM:FCCO

First Community Corporation (NASDAQ:FCCO) is about to trade ex-dividend in the next 4 days. Ex-dividend means that investors that purchase the stock on or after the 30th of October will not receive this dividend, which will be paid on the 16th of November.

First Community's next dividend payment will be US$0.12 per share, on the back of last year when the company paid a total of US$0.48 to shareholders. Based on the last year's worth of payments, First Community has a trailing yield of 3.3% on the current stock price of $14.34. Dividends are a major contributor to investment returns for long term holders, but only if the dividend continues to be paid. We need to see whether the dividend is covered by earnings and if it's growing.

Check out our latest analysis for First Community

Dividends are usually paid out of company profits, so if a company pays out more than it earned then its dividend is usually at greater risk of being cut. Fortunately First Community's payout ratio is modest, at just 38% of profit.

When a company paid out less in dividends than it earned in profit, this generally suggests its dividend is affordable. The lower the % of its profit that it pays out, the greater the margin of safety for the dividend if the business enters a downturn.

Click here to see the company's payout ratio, plus analyst estimates of its future dividends.

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NasdaqCM:FCCO Historic Dividend October 25th 2020

Have Earnings And Dividends Been Growing?

Companies with consistently growing earnings per share generally make the best dividend stocks, as they usually find it easier to grow dividends per share. If earnings decline and the company is forced to cut its dividend, investors could watch the value of their investment go up in smoke. With that in mind, we're encouraged by the steady growth at First Community, with earnings per share up 10.0% on average over the last five years.

Many investors will assess a company's dividend performance by evaluating how much the dividend payments have changed over time. In the past 10 years, First Community has increased its dividend at approximately 12% a year on average. It's encouraging to see the company lifting dividends while earnings are growing, suggesting at least some corporate interest in rewarding shareholders.

To Sum It Up

Is First Community worth buying for its 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. We think this is a pretty attractive combination, and would be interested in investigating First Community more closely.

Ever wonder what the future holds for First Community? See what the six analysts we track are forecasting, with this visualisation of its historical and future estimated earnings and cash flow

A common investment mistake is buying the first interesting stock you see. Here you can find a list of promising 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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