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Wintrust Financial (NASDAQ:WTFC) Could Be A Buy For Its Upcoming Dividend

It looks like Wintrust Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:WTFC) is about to go ex-dividend in the next four days. The ex-dividend date occurs one day before the record date which is the day on which shareholders need to be on the company's books in order to receive a dividend. The ex-dividend date is important as the process of settlement involves two full business days. So if you miss that date, you would not show up on the company's books on the record date. In other words, investors can purchase Wintrust Financial's shares before the 8th of February in order to be eligible for the dividend, which will be paid on the 23rd of February.

The company's next dividend payment will be US$0.40 per share. Last year, in total, the company distributed US$1.36 to shareholders. Based on the last year's worth of payments, Wintrust Financial has a trailing yield of 1.5% on the current stock price of $93.4. 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! That's why we should always check whether the dividend payments appear sustainable, and if the company is growing.

See our latest analysis for Wintrust Financial

If a company pays out more in dividends than it earned, then the dividend might become unsustainable - hardly an ideal situation. Wintrust Financial paid out just 17% of its profit last year, which we think is conservatively low and leaves plenty of margin for unexpected circumstances.

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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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historic-dividend

Have Earnings And Dividends Been Growing?

Companies with consistently growing earnings per share generally make the best dividend stocks, as they usually find it easier to grow dividends per share. Investors love dividends, so if earnings fall and the dividend is reduced, expect a stock to be sold off heavily at the same time. Fortunately for readers, Wintrust Financial's earnings per share have been growing at 12% a year for the past five years.

The main way most investors will assess a company's dividend prospects is by checking the historical rate of dividend growth. Wintrust Financial has delivered an average of 22% per year annual increase in its dividend, based on the past 10 years of dividend payments. It's exciting to see that both earnings and dividends per share have grown rapidly over the past few years.

The Bottom Line

Is Wintrust Financial an attractive dividend stock, or better left on the shelf? When companies are growing rapidly and retaining a majority of the profits within the business, it's usually a sign that reinvesting earnings creates more value than paying dividends to shareholders. This strategy can add significant value to shareholders over the long term - as long as it's done without issuing too many new shares. Wintrust Financial ticks a lot of boxes for us from a dividend perspective, and we think these characteristics should mark the company as deserving of further attention.

While it's tempting to invest in Wintrust Financial for the dividends alone, you should always be mindful of the risks involved. To help with this, we've discovered 2 warning signs for Wintrust Financial that you should be aware of before investing in their shares.

If you're in the market for strong dividend payers, we recommend checking our selection of top dividend stocks.

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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