First Savings Financial Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSFG) Has Got What It Takes To Be An Attractive Dividend Stock

Today we’ll take a closer look at First Savings Financial Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSFG) from a dividend investor’s perspective. Owning a strong dividend company and reinvesting the dividends is widely seen as an attractive way of growing your wealth. 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.

With a 1.2% yield and a six-year payment history, investors probably think First Savings Financial Group looks like a reliable dividend stock. While the yield may not look too great, the relatively long payment history is interesting. Some simple analysis can offer a lot of insight when buying a company for its dividend, and we’ll go through these below.

Click the interactive chart for our full dividend analysis
NasdaqCM:FSFG Historical Dividend Yield, April 25th 2019
NasdaqCM:FSFG Historical Dividend Yield, April 25th 2019

Payout ratios

Dividends are usually paid out of company earnings. If a company is paying more than it earns, 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. Looking at the data, we can see that 13% of First Savings Financial Group’s profits were paid out as dividends in the last 12 months. We’d say its dividends are thoroughly covered by earnings.

Remember, you can always get a snapshot of First Savings Financial Group’s latest financial position, by checking our visualisation of its financial health.

Dividend Volatility

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. First Savings Financial Group has been paying a dividend for the past six years. The dividend has been quite stable over the past six years, which is great to see – although we usually like to see the dividend maintained for a decade before giving it full marks, though. During the past six-year period, the first annual payment was US$0.40 in 2013, compared to US$0.64 last year. Dividends per share have grown at approximately 8.1% per year over this time.

The dividend has been growing at a reasonable rate, which we like. We’re conscious though that one of the best ways to detect a multi-decade consistent dividend payer, is to watch a company pay dividends for 20 years – a distinction First Savings Financial Group has not achieved yet.

Dividend Growth Potential

Examining whether the dividend is affordable and stable is important. However, it’s also important to assess if earnings per share (EPS) are growing. Over the long term, dividends need to grow at or above the rate of inflation, in order to maintain the recipient’s purchasing power. Strong earnings per share (EPS) growth might encourage our interest in the company despite fluctuating dividends, which is why it’s great to see First Savings Financial Group has grown its earnings per share at 17% per annum 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

Dividend investors should always want to know if a) a company’s dividends are affordable, b) if there is a track record of consistent payments, and c) if the dividend is capable of growing. Firstly, we like that First Savings Financial Group has a low and conservative payout ratio. We were also glad to see it growing earnings, although its dividend history is not as long as we’d like. First Savings Financial Group fits all of our criteria, and we think there are a lot of positives to it from a dividend perspective.

You can also discover whether shareholders are aligned with insider interests by checking our visualisation of insider shareholdings and trades in First Savings Financial Group stock.

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.