Money

A 7% Yield You Can Bank On

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Regional bank stocks should have benefited from the recent climb in interest rates. However, many bank stocks have fallen along with the rest of the market this year.

New York Community Bancorp (NYSE: NYCB) has gone down a third since hitting a high of more than $14 last October.

The company’s roots go back to 1859, when it was the first bank in Queens. Today, it holds $61 billion in assets and has more than 200 locations.

Its loan portfolio, which consists mostly of multifamily buildings and commercial real estate, has grown 9% in the past year.

We measure a bank’s ability to fund its dividend by examining its net interest income (NII). Other than a little setback in 2019, New York Community Bancorp has steadily grown its NII over the last few years.

New York Community Bancorp's Net Interest Income

The bank’s NII is easily enough to cover its dividend. In 2021, New York Community Bancorp paid out just $349 million in dividends. The same is expected this year. Meanwhile, the bank is expected to generate $1.6 billion in NII in 2022.

The company has paid the same $0.17-per-share quarterly dividend since 2016. With such a low payout ratio, New York Community Bancorp could easily afford to raise its dividend. In fact, it could double it and still be well within my comfort zone.

It won’t do that because at $0.17 per share quarterly, or $0.68 annually, the yield comes out to 7%. No bank currently pays a double-digit yield – at least no bank you’d consider investing in.

The only blemish on New York Community Bancorp’s record is a dividend cut in 2016, when it reduced its dividend from $0.25 per share to $0.17.

But considering the consistent payout it’s provided since then and the very low payout ratio, there is little risk of a dividend cut to this high-yielding bank stock.

Dividend Safety Rating: B

Dividend Grade Guide

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Good investing,

Marc

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