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Are You Looking for a High-Growth Dividend Stock? Bar Harbor Bankshares (BHB) Could Be a Great Choice

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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 when you're an income investor, your primary focus is generating consistent cash flow from each of your liquid investments.

Cash flow can come from bond interest, interest from other types of investments, and of course, 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 make up large portions of long-term returns, and in many cases, dividend contributions surpass one-third of total returns.

Bar Harbor Bankshares in Focus

Bar Harbor Bankshares (BHB - Free Report) is headquartered in Bar Harbor, and is in the Finance sector. The stock has seen a price change of 25.99% since the start of the year. Currently paying a dividend of $0.24 per share, the company has a dividend yield of 3.37%. In comparison, the Banks - Northeast industry's yield is 1.95%, while the S&P 500's yield is 1.38%.

Taking a look at the company's dividend growth, its current annualized dividend of $0.96 is up 9.1% from last year. Bar Harbor Bankshares has increased its dividend 4 times on a year-over-year basis over the last 5 years for an average annual increase of 5.71%. Future dividend growth will depend on earnings growth as well as payout ratio, which is the proportion of a company's annual earnings per share that it pays out as a dividend. Bar Harbor's current payout ratio is 38%, meaning it paid out 38% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.

BHB is expecting earnings to expand this fiscal year as well. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2021 is $2.58 per share, with earnings expected to increase 12.66% 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. But, not every company offers 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. During periods of rising interest rates, income investors must be mindful that high-yielding stocks tend to struggle. With that in mind, BHB is a compelling investment opportunity. Not only is it a strong dividend play, but the stock currently sits at a Zacks Rank of 3 (Hold).


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