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We Wouldn't Be Too Quick To Buy New York Community Bancorp, Inc. (NYSE:NYCB) Before It Goes Ex-Dividend

It looks like New York Community Bancorp, Inc. (NYSE:NYCB) is about to go ex-dividend in the next four days. Typically, the ex-dividend date is one business day before the record date which is the date on which a company determines the shareholders eligible to receive a dividend. The ex-dividend date is an important date to be aware of as any purchase of the stock made on or after this date might mean a late settlement that doesn't show on the record date. This means that investors who purchase New York Community Bancorp's shares on or after the 3rd of February will not receive the dividend, which will be paid on the 16th of February.

The company's next dividend payment will be US$0.17 per share. Last year, in total, the company distributed US$0.68 to shareholders. Calculating the last year's worth of payments shows that New York Community Bancorp has a trailing yield of 6.9% on the current share price of $9.88. We love seeing companies pay a dividend, but it's also important to be sure that laying the golden eggs isn't going to kill our golden goose! As a result, readers should always check whether New York Community Bancorp has been able to grow its dividends, or if the dividend might be cut.

View our latest analysis for New York Community Bancorp

Dividends are usually paid out of company profits, so if a company pays out more than it earned then its dividend is usually at greater risk of being cut. New York Community Bancorp paid out 54% of its earnings to investors last year, a normal payout level for most businesses.

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Generally speaking, the lower a company's payout ratios, the more resilient its dividend usually is.

Click here to see the company's payout ratio, plus analyst estimates of its future dividends.

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Have Earnings And Dividends Been Growing?

When earnings decline, dividend companies become much harder to analyse and own safely. Investors love dividends, so if earnings fall and the dividend is reduced, expect a stock to be sold off heavily at the same time. So we're not too excited that New York Community Bancorp's earnings are down 3.2% a year over the past five years.

Another key way to measure a company's dividend prospects is by measuring its historical rate of dividend growth. New York Community Bancorp's dividend payments per share have declined at 3.8% per year on average over the past 10 years, which is uninspiring. While it's not great that earnings and dividends per share have fallen in recent years, we're encouraged by the fact that management has trimmed the dividend rather than risk over-committing the company in a risky attempt to maintain yields to shareholders.

To Sum It Up

Is New York Community Bancorp an attractive dividend stock, or better left on the shelf? Earnings per share have been declining and the company is paying out more than half its profits to shareholders; not an enticing combination. These characteristics don't generally lead to outstanding dividend performance, and investors may not be happy with the results of owning this stock for its dividend.

With that in mind though, if the poor dividend characteristics of New York Community Bancorp don't faze you, it's worth being mindful of the risks involved with this business. In terms of investment risks, we've identified 3 warning signs with New York Community Bancorp and understanding them should be part of your investment process.

Generally, we wouldn't recommend just buying the first dividend stock you see. Here's a curated list of interesting stocks that are strong dividend payers.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.

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