You Have To Love PacWest Bancorp’s (NASDAQ:PACW) Dividend

Could PacWest Bancorp (NASDAQ:PACW) be an attractive dividend share to own for the long haul? Investors are often drawn to a company for its dividend. Yet sometimes, investors buy a popular dividend stock because of its yield, and then lose money if the company’s dividend doesn’t live up to expectations.

With PacWest Bancorp yielding 6.1% and having paid a dividend for over 10 years, many investors likely find the company quite interesting. It would not be a surprise to discover that many investors buy it for the dividends. The company also bought back stock equivalent to around 6.8% of market capitalisation this year. 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
NasdaqGS:PACW Historical Dividend Yield, April 22nd 2019
NasdaqGS:PACW Historical Dividend Yield, April 22nd 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. So we need to be form a view on if a company’s dividend is sustainable, relative to its net profit after tax. PacWest Bancorp paid out 65% of its profit as dividends, over the trailing twelve month period. This is a healthy payout ratio, and while it does limit the amount of earnings that can be reinvested in the business, there is also some room to lift the payout ratio over time.

Remember, you can always get a snapshot of PacWest Bancorp’s latest financial position, by checking our visualisation of its financial health.

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. PacWest Bancorp has been paying dividends for a long time, but for the purpose of this analysis, we only examine the past 10 years of payments. The dividend has been stable over the past 10 years, which is great. We think this could suggest some resilience to the business and its dividends. During the past ten-year period, the first annual payment was US$0.04 in 2009, compared to US$2.40 last year. This works out to be a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 51% a year over that time.

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. Strong earnings per share (EPS) growth might encourage our interest in the company despite fluctuating dividends, which is why it’s great to see PacWest Bancorp has grown its earnings per share at 28% per annum over the past five years. With recent, rapid earnings per share growth and a payout ratio of 65%, this business could be an interesting prospect if growth can be maintained.

Conclusion

To summarise, shareholders should always check that PacWest Bancorp’s dividends are affordable, that its dividend payments are relatively stable, and that it has decent prospects for growing its earnings and dividend. PacWest Bancorp’s payout ratio is within normal bounds. We like that it has been delivering solid earnings growth and relatively consistent dividend payments. PacWest Bancorp has a credible record on several fronts, but falls slightly short of our standards for a dividend stock.

Earnings growth generally bodes well for the future value of company dividend payments. See if the 11 PacWest 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.