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BancFirst (BANF) is a Top Dividend Stock Right Now: Should You Buy?

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Getting big returns from financial portfolios, whether through stocks, bonds, ETFs, other securities, or a combination of all, is an investor's dream. 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 account for significant portions of long-term returns, with dividend contributions exceeding one-third of total returns in many cases.

BancFirst in Focus

BancFirst (BANF - Free Report) is headquartered in Oklahoma City, and is in the Finance sector. The stock has seen a price change of 15.15% since the start of the year. The Oklahoma financial services holding company is currently shelling out a dividend of $0.3 per share, with a dividend yield of 2.09%. This compares to the Banks - Southwest industry's yield of 1.34% and the S&P 500's yield of 1.88%.

Looking at dividend growth, the company's current annualized dividend of $1.20 is up 17.6% from last year. Over the last 5 years, BancFirst has increased its dividend 5 times on a year-over-year basis for an average annual increase of 13.22%. 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. BancFirst's current payout ratio is 30%, meaning it paid out 30% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.

BANF is expecting earnings to expand this fiscal year as well. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2019 is $3.99 per share, which represents a year-over-year growth rate of 4.45%.

Bottom Line

From greatly improving stock investing profits and reducing overall portfolio risk to providing tax advantages, investors like dividends for a variety of different reasons. But, not every company offers a quarterly payout.

For instance, it's a rare occurrence when a tech start-up or big growth business offers their shareholders a dividend. It's more common to see larger companies with more established profits give out dividends. Income investors have to be mindful of the fact that high-yielding stocks tend to struggle during periods of rising interest rates. With that in mind, BANF 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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