Why Farmers National Banc (FMNB) is a Great Dividend Stock Right Now

Zacks Equity Research
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All investors love getting big returns from their portfolio, whether it's through stocks, bonds, ETFs, or other types of securities. But for income investors, generating consistent cash flow from each of your liquid investments is your primary focus.

While cash flow can come from bond interest or interest from other types of investments, income investors hone in on dividends. A dividend is that coveted distribution of a company's earnings paid out to shareholders, and investors often view it by its dividend yield, a metric that measures the dividend as a percent of the current stock price. Many academic studies show that dividends account for significant portions of long-term returns, with dividend contributions exceeding one-third of total returns in many cases.

Farmers National Banc in Focus

Based in Canfield, Farmers National Banc (FMNB) is in the Finance sector, and so far this year, shares have seen a price change of 10.83%. The bank is currently shelling out a dividend of $0.09 per share, with a dividend yield of 2.55%. This compares to the Banks - Midwest industry's yield of 2.57% and the S&P 500's yield of 1.94%.

In terms of dividend growth, the company's current annualized dividend of $0.36 is up 20% from last year. Farmers National Banc has increased its dividend 4 times on a year-over-year basis over the last 5 years for an average annual increase of 29.31%. Looking ahead, future dividend growth will be dependent on earnings growth and payout ratio, which is the proportion of a company's annual earnings per share that it pays out as a dividend. Farmers National's current payout ratio is 30%, meaning it paid out 30% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.

FMNB is expecting earnings to expand this fiscal year as well. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2019 is $1.26 per share, with earnings expected to increase 9.57% from the year ago period.

Bottom Line

Investors like dividends for a variety of different reasons, from tax advantages and decreasing overall portfolio risk to considerably improving stock investing profits. However, not all companies offer a quarterly payout.

Big, established firms that have more secure profits are often seen as the best dividend options, but it's fairly uncommon to see high-growth businesses or tech start-ups offer their stockholders a dividend. Income investors must be conscious of the fact that high-yielding stocks tend to struggle during periods of rising interest rates. With that in mind, FMNB presents a compelling investment opportunity; it's not only an attractive dividend play, but the stock also boasts a strong Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy).


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