You Have To Love 1st Constitution Bancorp’s (NASDAQ:FCCY) Dividend

Is 1st Constitution Bancorp (NASDAQ:FCCY) a good dividend stock? How can we tell? Dividend paying companies with growing earnings can be highly rewarding in the long term. On the other hand, investors have been known to buy a stock because of its yield, and then lose money if the company’s dividend doesn’t live up to expectations.

Some readers mightn’t know much about 1st Constitution Bancorp’s 1.6% dividend, as it has only been paying distributions for the last three years. While it may not look like much, if earnings are growing it could become quite interesting. Some simple analysis can reduce the risk of holding 1st Constitution Bancorp for its dividend, and we’ll focus on the most important aspects below.

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NasdaqGM:FCCY Historical Dividend Yield, October 18th 2019
NasdaqGM:FCCY Historical Dividend Yield, October 18th 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. As a result, we should always investigate whether a company can afford its dividend, measured as a percentage of a company’s net income after tax. 1st Constitution Bancorp paid out 18% of its profit as dividends, over the trailing twelve month period. Given the low payout ratio, it is hard to envision the dividend coming under threat, barring a catastrophe.

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. The dividend has not fluctuated much, but with a relatively short payment history, we can’t be sure this is sustainable across a full market cycle. During the past three-year period, the first annual payment was US$0.20 in 2016, compared to US$0.30 last year. This works out to be a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 14% a year over that time.

The dividend has been growing pretty quickly, which could be enough to get us interested even though the dividend history is relatively short. Further research may be warranted.

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. It’s good to see 1st Constitution Bancorp has been growing its earnings per share at 14% a year over the past five years. Rapid earnings growth and a low payout ratio suggests this company has been effectively reinvesting in its business. Should that continue, this company could have a bright future.

Conclusion

To summarise, shareholders should always check that 1st Constitution Bancorp’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 1st Constitution Bancorp has a low and conservative payout ratio. Next, earnings growth has been good, but unfortunately the company has not been paying dividends as long as we’d like. 1st Constitution Bancorp 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 3 1st Constitution 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.