Is CIT Group Inc. (NYSE:CIT) A Smart Pick For Income Investors?

Dividends play a key role in compounding returns over time and can form a large part of our portfolio return. Historically, CIT Group Inc. (NYSE:CIT) has been paying a dividend to shareholders. Today it yields 2.7%. Does CIT Group tick all the boxes of a great dividend stock? Below, I’ll take you through my analysis.

See our latest analysis for CIT Group

5 checks you should use to assess a dividend stock

When researching a dividend stock, I always follow the following screening criteria:

  • Is it the top 25% annual dividend yield payer?
  • Has it consistently paid a stable dividend without missing a payment or drastically cutting payout?
  • Has dividend per share risen in the past couple of years?
  • Is is able to pay the current rate of dividends from its earnings?
  • Will the company be able to keep paying dividend based on the future earnings growth?
NYSE:CIT Historical Dividend Yield, March 2nd 2019
NYSE:CIT Historical Dividend Yield, March 2nd 2019

How well does CIT Group fit our criteria?

The current trailing twelve-month payout ratio for the stock is 24%, meaning the dividend is sufficiently covered by earnings. Going forward, analysts expect CIT’s payout to increase to 26% of its earnings. Assuming a constant share price, this equates to a dividend yield of 2.8%. Furthermore, EPS should increase to $4.8. The higher payout forecasted, along with higher earnings, should lead to greater dividend income for investors moving forward.

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

If there’s one type of stock you want to be reliable, it’s dividend stocks and their stable income-generating ability. Unfortunately, it is really too early to view CIT Group as a dividend investment. It has only been consistently paying dividends for 5 years, however, standard practice for reliable payers is to look for a 10-year minimum track record.

Compared to its peers, CIT Group has a yield of 2.7%, which is on the low-side for Banks stocks.

Next Steps:

Whilst there are few things you may like about CIT Group from a dividend stock perspective, the truth is that overall it probably is not the best choice for a dividend investor. But if you are not exclusively a dividend investor, the stock could still be an interesting investment opportunity. 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. I’ve put together three essential factors you should further examine:

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for CIT’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for CIT’s outlook.
  2. Valuation: What is CIT 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 CIT is currently mispriced by the market.
  3. Dividend Rockstars: Are there better dividend payers with stronger fundamentals out there? Check out our free list of these great stocks here.

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.