You Have To Love Eagle Bancorp, Inc.’s (NASDAQ:EGBN) Dividend …

Is Eagle Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:EGBN) a good dividend stock? How can we tell? Dividend paying companies with growing earnings can be highly rewarding in the long term. Unfortunately, it’s common for investors to be enticed in by the seemingly attractive yield, and lose money when the company has to cut its dividend payments.

Eagle Bancorp has only been paying a dividend for a year or so, so investors might be curious about its 2.0% yield. During the year, the company also conducted a buyback equivalent to around 2.2% of its market capitalisation. Some simple analysis can offer a lot of insights when buying a company for its dividend, and we’ll go through this below.

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NasdaqCM:EGBN Historical Dividend Yield, February 17th 2020NasdaqCM:EGBN Historical Dividend Yield, February 17th 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. In the last year, Eagle Bancorp paid out 16% of its profit as dividends. We like this low payout ratio, because it implies the dividend is well covered and leaves ample opportunity for reinvestment.

Consider getting our latest analysis on Eagle Bancorp’s financial position here.

Dividend Volatility

Before buying a stock for its income, we want to see if the dividends have been stable in the past, and if the company has a track record of maintaining its dividend. With a payment history of less than 2 years, we think it’s a bit too soon to think about living on the income from its dividend. Its most recent annual dividend was US$0.88 per share.

Modest dividend growth is good to see, especially with the payments being relatively stable. However, the payment history is relatively short and we wouldn’t want to rely on this dividend too much.

Dividend Growth Potential

The other half of the dividend investing equation is evaluating whether earnings per share (EPS) are growing. Over the long term, dividends need to grow at or above the rate of inflation, in order to maintain the recipient’s purchasing power. It’s good to see Eagle Bancorp has been growing its earnings per share at 16% a year over the past five years. Rapid earnings growth and a low payout ratio suggests this company has been effectively reinvesting in its business. Should that continue, this company could have a bright future.

Conclusion

When we look at a dividend stock, we need to form a judgement on whether the dividend will grow, if the company is able to maintain it in a wide range of economic circumstances, and if the dividend payout is sustainable. Firstly, we like that Eagle Bancorp has a low and conservative payout ratio. We were also glad to see it growing earnings, although its dividend history is not as long as we’d like. Overall we think Eagle Bancorp is an interesting dividend stock, although it could be better.

Earnings growth generally bodes well for the future value of company dividend payments. See if the 7 Eagle 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%.

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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