How Does Pathfinder Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:PBHC) Fare As A …

Could Pathfinder Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:PBHC) be an attractive dividend share to own for the long haul? Investors are often drawn to strong companies with the idea of reinvesting the dividends. If you are hoping to live on the income from dividends, it’s important to be a lot more stringent with your investments than the average punter.

A slim 1.7% yield is hard to get excited about, but the long payment history is respectable. At the right price, or with strong growth opportunities, Pathfinder Bancorp could have potential. Before you buy any stock for its dividend however, you should always remember Warren Buffett’s two rules: 1) Don’t lose money, and 2) Remember rule #1. We’ll run through some checks below to help with this.

Explore this interactive chart for our latest analysis on Pathfinder Bancorp!

NasdaqCM:PBHC Historical Dividend Yield, February 25th 2020NasdaqCM:PBHC Historical Dividend Yield, February 25th 2020

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. As a result, we should always investigate whether a company can afford its dividend, measured as a percentage of a company’s net income after tax. Looking at the data, we can see that 30% of Pathfinder Bancorp’s profits were paid out as dividends in the last 12 months. A medium payout ratio strikes a good balance between paying dividends, and keeping enough back to invest in the business. Besides, if reinvestment opportunities dry up, the company has room to increase the dividend.

We update our data on Pathfinder Bancorp every 24 hours, so you can always get our latest analysis of its financial health, here.

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. For the purpose of this article, we only scrutinise the last decade of Pathfinder Bancorp’s dividend payments. During this period the dividend has been stable, which could imply the business could have relatively consistent earnings power. During the past ten-year period, the first annual payment was US$0.073 in 2010, compared to US$0.24 last year. Dividends per share have grown at approximately 13% per year over this time.

With rapid dividend growth and no notable cuts to the dividend over a lengthy period of time, we think this company has a lot going for it.

Dividend Growth Potential

While dividend payments have been relatively reliable, it would also be nice if earnings per share (EPS) were growing, as this is essential to maintaining the dividend’s purchasing power over the long term. Pathfinder Bancorp has grown its earnings per share at 4.7% per annum over the past five years. Pathfinder Bancorp is paying out less than half of its earnings, which we like. Earnings per share growth have grown slowly, which is not great, but if the retained earnings can be reinvested effectively, future growth may be stronger.

We’d also point out that Pathfinder Bancorp issued a meaningful number of new shares in the past year. Regularly issuing new shares can be detrimental – it’s hard to grow dividends per share when new shares are regularly being created.

Conclusion

To summarise, shareholders should always check that Pathfinder Bancorp’s dividends are affordable, that its dividend payments are relatively stable, and that it has decent prospects for growing its earnings and dividend. We’re glad to see Pathfinder Bancorp has a low payout ratio, as this suggests earnings are being reinvested in the business. Earnings growth has been limited, but we like that the dividend payments have been fairly consistent. Pathfinder Bancorp has a number of positive attributes, but falls short of our ideal dividend company. It may be worth a look at the right price, though.

See if management have their own wealth at stake, by checking insider shareholdings in Pathfinder Bancorp stock.

Looking for more high-yielding dividend ideas? Try our curated list of dividend stocks with a yield above 3%.

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.

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. Thank you for reading.

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