The First Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:FNLC): 2 Days To Buy Before The Ex-Dividend Date

Have you been keeping an eye on The First Bancorp, Inc.’s (NASDAQ:FNLC) upcoming dividend of US$0.29 per share payable on the 31 January 2019? Then you only have 2 days left before the stock starts trading ex-dividend on the 09 January 2019. Is this future income stream a compelling catalyst for dividend investors to think about the stock as an investment today? Let’s take a look at First Bancorp’s most recent financial data to examine its dividend characteristics in more detail.

View our latest analysis for First Bancorp

5 questions to ask before buying a dividend stock

If you are a dividend investor, you should always assess these five key metrics:

  • Is their annual yield among the top 25% of dividend payers?
  • Has its dividend been stable over the past (i.e. no missed payments or significant payout cuts)?
  • Has the amount of dividend per share grown over the past?
  • Is its earnings sufficient to payout dividend at the current rate?
  • Based on future earnings growth, will it be able to continue to payout dividend at the current rate?
NasdaqGS:FNLC Historical Dividend Yield January 6th 19
NasdaqGS:FNLC Historical Dividend Yield January 6th 19

How well does First Bancorp fit our criteria?

First Bancorp has a trailing twelve-month payout ratio of 51%, which means that the dividend is covered by earnings. Furthermore, analysts have not forecasted a dividends per share for the future, which makes it hard to determine the yield shareholders should expect, and whether the current payout is sustainable, moving forward.

When assessing the forecast sustainability of a dividend it is also worth considering the cash flow of the business. A company with strong cash flow, relative to earnings, can sometimes sustain a high pay out ratio.

If there is one thing that you want to be reliable in your life, it’s dividend stocks and their constant income stream. FNLC has increased its DPS from $0.78 to $1.16 in the past 10 years. It has also been paying out dividend consistently during this time, as you’d expect for a company increasing its dividend levels. This is an impressive feat, which makes FNLC a true dividend rockstar.

Relative to peers, First Bancorp has a yield of 4.3%, which is high for Banks stocks.

Next Steps:

With this in mind, I definitely rank First Bancorp as a strong dividend stock, and makes it worth further research for anyone who likes steady income generation from their portfolio. Given that this is purely a dividend analysis, I recommend taking sufficient time to understand its core business and determine whether the company and its investment properties suit your overall goals. Below, I’ve compiled three important aspects you should further examine:

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for FNLC’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for FNLC’s outlook.
  2. Valuation: What is FNLC worth today? Even if the stock is a cash cow, it’s not worth an infinite price. The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether FNLC is currently mispriced by the market.
  3. Other Dividend Rockstars: Are there better dividend payers with stronger fundamentals out there? Check out our free list of these great stocks here.

To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.

The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com.