Is First Commonwealth Financial Corporation (NYSE:FCF) A Smart Pick For Income Investors?

Dividends can be underrated but they form a large part of investment returns, playing an important role in compounding returns in the long run. Historically, First Commonwealth Financial Corporation (NYSE:FCF) has been paying a dividend to shareholders. Today it yields 3.2%. Does First Commonwealth Financial tick all the boxes of a great dividend stock? Below, I’ll take you through my analysis.

Check out our latest analysis for First Commonwealth Financial

5 questions to ask before buying a dividend stock

When assessing a stock as a potential addition to my dividend Portfolio, I look at these five areas:

  • Is it paying an annual yield above 75% of dividend payers?
  • Has its dividend been stable over the past (i.e. no missed payments or significant payout cuts)?
  • Has dividend per share amount increased over the past?
  • Is is able to pay the current rate of dividends from its earnings?
  • Based on future earnings growth, will it be able to continue to payout dividend at the current rate?
NYSE:FCF Historical Dividend Yield, March 26th 2019
NYSE:FCF Historical Dividend Yield, March 26th 2019

How does First Commonwealth Financial fare?

The company currently pays out 34% of its earnings as a dividend, according to its trailing twelve-month data, meaning the dividend is sufficiently covered by earnings. Going forward, analysts expect FCF’s payout to remain around the same level at 35% of its earnings. Assuming a constant share price, this equates to a dividend yield of 3.3%. In addition to this, EPS should increase to $1.1.

When thinking about whether a dividend is sustainable, another factor to consider is the cash flow. Cash flow is important because companies with strong cash flow can usually sustain higher payout ratios.

If there’s one type of stock you want to be reliable, it’s dividend stocks and their stable income-generating ability. Dividend payments from First Commonwealth Financial have been volatile in the past 10 years, with some years experiencing significant drops of over 25%. These characteristics do not bode well for income investors seeking reliable stream of dividends.

Compared to its peers, First Commonwealth Financial produces a yield of 3.2%, which is high for Banks stocks but still below the market’s top dividend payers.

Next Steps:

Whilst there are few things you may like about First Commonwealth Financial from a dividend stock perspective, the truth is that overall it probably is not the best choice for a dividend investor. However, if you are not strictly just a dividend investor, the stock could still offer some interesting investment opportunities. Given that this is purely a dividend analysis, I urge potential investors to try and get a good understanding of the underlying business and its fundamentals before deciding on an investment. Below, I’ve compiled three relevant factors you should further examine:

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for FCF’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for FCF’s outlook.
  2. Valuation: What is FCF 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 FCF 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.