Heartland Financial USA, Inc. (NASDAQ:HTLF) is about to trade ex-dividend in the next 4 days. This means that investors who purchase shares on or after the 12th of November will not receive the dividend, which will be paid on the 30th of November.
Heartland Financial USA's upcoming dividend is US$0.20 a share, following on from the last 12 months, when the company distributed a total of US$0.80 per share to shareholders. Based on the last year's worth of payments, Heartland Financial USA has a trailing yield of 2.5% on the current stock price of $32.52. Dividends are a major contributor to investment returns for long term holders, but only if the dividend continues to be paid. That's why we should always check whether the dividend payments appear sustainable, and if the company is growing.
Dividends are typically paid out of company income, so if a company pays out more than it earned, its dividend is usually at a higher risk of being cut. Heartland Financial USA is paying out just 22% of its profit after tax, which is comfortably low and leaves plenty of breathing room in the case of adverse events.
Companies that pay out less in dividends than they earn in profits generally have more sustainable dividends. The lower the payout ratio, the more wiggle room the business has before it could be forced to cut the dividend.
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. If earnings decline and the company is forced to cut its dividend, investors could watch the value of their investment go up in smoke. For this reason, we're glad to see Heartland Financial USA's earnings per share have risen 10% per annum 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. Heartland Financial USA has delivered 7.2% dividend growth per year on average over the past 10 years. 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
Has Heartland Financial USA got what it takes to maintain its dividend payments? Companies like Heartland Financial USA that are growing rapidly and paying out a low fraction of earnings, are usually reinvesting heavily in their business. This strategy can add significant value to shareholders over the long term - as long as it's done without issuing too many new shares. We think this is a pretty attractive combination, and would be interested in investigating Heartland Financial USA more closely.
While it's tempting to invest in Heartland Financial USA for the dividends alone, you should always be mindful of the risks involved. For example - Heartland Financial USA has 1 warning sign we think you should be aware of.
We wouldn't recommend just buying the first dividend stock you see, though. Here's a list of interesting 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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