Stifel Financial Corp. (NYSE:SF) has announced that it will be increasing its dividend from last year’s comparable payment on the 15th of March to $0.42. This takes the annual payment to 2.2% of the current stock price, which is about average for the industry.
See our latest analysis for Stifel Financial
Stifel Financial’s Payment Has Solid Earnings Coverage
Solid dividend yields are great, but they only really help us if the payment is sustainable. However, prior to this announcement, Stifel Financial’s dividend was comfortably covered by both cash flow and earnings. This means that most of its earnings are being retained to grow the business.
The next year is set to see EPS grow by 53.1%. If the dividend continues along recent trends, we estimate the payout ratio will be 27%, which is in the range that makes us comfortable with the sustainability of the dividend.
Stifel Financial Doesn’t Have A Long Payment History
It is great to see that Stifel Financial has been paying a stable dividend for a number of years now, however we want to be a bit cautious about whether this will remain true through a full economic cycle. The dividend has gone from an annual total of $0.267 in 2018 to the most recent total annual payment of $1.68. This works out to be a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 36% a year over that time. The dividend has been growing rapidly, however with such a short payment history we can’t know for sure if payment can continue to grow over the long term, so caution may be warranted.
We Could See Stifel Financial’s Dividend Growing
Investors could be attracted to the stock based on the quality of its payment history. Stifel Financial has impressed us by growing EPS at 6.1% per year over the past five years. Growth in EPS bodes well for the dividend, as does the low payout ratio that the company is currently reporting.
Our Thoughts On Stifel Financial’s Dividend
In summary, it’s great to see that the company can raise the dividend and keep it in a sustainable range. The dividend has been at reasonable levels historically, but that hasn’t translated into a consistent payment. Taking all of this into consideration, the dividend looks viable moving forward, but investors should be mindful that the company has pushed the boundaries of sustainability in the past and may do so again.
Market movements attest to how highly valued a consistent dividend policy is compared to one which is more unpredictable. Meanwhile, despite the importance of dividend payments, they are not the only factors our readers should know when assessing a company. Taking the debate a bit further, we’ve identified 2 warning signs for Stifel Financial that investors need to be conscious of moving forward. Looking for more high-yielding dividend ideas? Try our collection of strong dividend payers.
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