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Why Farmers & Merchants Bancorp Inc. (FMAO) is a Top Dividend Stock for Your Portfolio

Whether it's through stocks, bonds, ETFs, or other types of securities, all investors love seeing their portfolios score big returns. However, 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.

Farmers & Merchants Bancorp Inc. In Focus

Headquartered in Archbold, Farmers & Merchants Bancorp Inc. (FMAO) is a Finance stock that has seen a price change of 1.43% so far this year. The company is paying out a dividend of $0.17 per share at the moment, with a dividend yield of 2.91% compared to the Banks - Northeast industry's yield of 1.92% and the S&P 500's yield of 1.27%.

Taking a look at the company's dividend growth, its current annualized dividend of $0.68 is up 3% from last year. Farmers & Merchants Bancorp Inc. has increased its dividend 5 times on a year-over-year basis over the last 5 years for an average annual increase of 9.71%. 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. Farmers & Merchants Bancorp Inc.'s current payout ratio is 39%. This means it paid out 39% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.

FMAO is expecting earnings to expand this fiscal year as well. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2021 is $1.89 per share, with earnings expected to increase 12.50% from the year ago period.

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. It's important to keep in mind that not all companies provide 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, FMAO 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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