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Some investors rely on dividends for growing their wealth, and if you're one of those dividend sleuths, you might be intrigued to know that Equity Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:EQBK) is about to go ex-dividend in just three days. The ex-dividend date is usually set to be one business day before the record date which is the cut-off date on which you must be present on the company's books as a shareholder in order to receive the dividend. The ex-dividend date is of consequence because whenever a stock is bought or sold, the trade takes at least two business day to settle. Therefore, if you purchase Equity Bancshares' shares on or after the 30th of March, you won't be eligible to receive the dividend, when it is paid on the 14th of April.
The company's next dividend payment will be US$0.08 per share, on the back of last year when the company paid a total of US$0.32 to shareholders. Based on the last year's worth of payments, Equity Bancshares has a trailing yield of 1.0% on the current stock price of $32.9. We love seeing companies pay a dividend, but it's also important to be sure that laying the golden eggs isn't going to kill our golden goose! 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. Equity Bancshares is paying out just 4.6% 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?
Stocks in companies that generate sustainable earnings growth often make the best dividend prospects, as it is easier to lift the dividend when earnings are rising. If earnings decline and the company is forced to cut its dividend, investors could watch the value of their investment go up in smoke. It's encouraging to see Equity Bancshares has grown its earnings rapidly, up 24% a year for the past five years.
Unfortunately Equity Bancshares has only been paying a dividend for a year or so, so there's not much of a history to draw insight from.
Is Equity Bancshares an attractive dividend stock, or better left on the shelf? When companies are growing rapidly and retaining a majority of the profits within the business, it's usually a sign that reinvesting earnings creates more value than paying dividends to shareholders. This is one of the most attractive investment combinations under this analysis, as it can create substantial value for investors over the long run. We think this is a pretty attractive combination, and would be interested in investigating Equity Bancshares more closely.
So while Equity Bancshares looks good from a dividend perspective, it's always worthwhile being up to date with the risks involved in this stock. For example, we've found 2 warning signs for Equity Bancshares that we recommend you consider before investing in the business.
A common investing mistake is buying the first interesting stock you see. Here you can find a full list of high-yield dividend stocks.
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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.