It looks like Guaranty Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:GNTY) is about to go ex-dividend in the next three days. The ex-dividend date is one business day before the record date, which is the cut-off date for shareholders to be present on the company's books to be eligible for a dividend payment. The ex-dividend date is important because any transaction on a stock needs to have been settled before the record date in order to be eligible for a dividend. Thus, you can purchase Guaranty Bancshares' shares before the 25th of March in order to receive the dividend, which the company will pay on the 13th of April.
The company's next dividend payment will be US$0.22 per share, on the back of last year when the company paid a total of US$0.80 to shareholders. Looking at the last 12 months of distributions, Guaranty Bancshares has a trailing yield of approximately 2.5% on its current stock price of $35.51. If you buy this business for its dividend, you should have an idea of whether Guaranty Bancshares's dividend is reliable and sustainable. So we need to investigate whether Guaranty Bancshares can afford its dividend, and if the dividend could grow.
If a company pays out more in dividends than it earned, then the dividend might become unsustainable - hardly an ideal situation. Guaranty Bancshares paid out just 24% of its profit last year, which we think is conservatively low and leaves plenty of margin for unexpected circumstances.
Generally speaking, the lower a company's payout ratios, the more resilient its dividend usually is.
Have Earnings And Dividends Been Growing?
Businesses with strong growth prospects usually make the best dividend payers, because it's easier to grow dividends when earnings per share are improving. Investors love dividends, so if earnings fall and the dividend is reduced, expect a stock to be sold off heavily at the same time. It's encouraging to see Guaranty Bancshares has grown its earnings rapidly, up 22% a year for the past five years.
Another key way to measure a company's dividend prospects is by measuring its historical rate of dividend growth. Since the start of our data, five years ago, Guaranty Bancshares has lifted its dividend by approximately 13% a year on average. It's great to see earnings per share growing rapidly over several years, and dividends per share growing right along with it.
Is Guaranty Bancshares an attractive dividend stock, or better left on the shelf? Companies like Guaranty Bancshares that are growing rapidly and paying out a low fraction of earnings, are usually reinvesting heavily in their business. Perhaps even more importantly - this can sometimes signal management is focused on the long term future of the business. Guaranty Bancshares ticks a lot of boxes for us from a dividend perspective, and we think these characteristics should mark the company as deserving of further attention.
While it's tempting to invest in Guaranty Bancshares for the dividends alone, you should always be mindful of the risks involved. Our analysis shows 2 warning signs for Guaranty Bancshares that we strongly recommend you have a look at before investing in the company.
A common investing mistake is buying the first interesting stock you see. Here you can find a full list of high-yield dividend stocks.
This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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.