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FNLC Breaks Above 5% Yield Territory

By Dividend Channel Staff, Thursday, December 22, 3:06 PM ET
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In trading on Thursday, shares of First Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ:FNLC) were yielding above the 5% mark based on its quarterly dividend (annualized to $0.78), with the stock changing hands as low as $15.53 on the day. Dividends are particularly important for investors to consider, because historically speaking dividends have provided a considerable share of the stock market's total return. To illustrate, suppose for example you purchased shares of the iShares Russell 3000 ETF (IWV) back on 5/31/2000 you would have paid $78.27 per share. Fast forward to 5/31/2011 and each share was worth $80.78 on that date, a mere $2.51 or 3.2% increase over eleven years. But now consider that you collected a whopping $9.69 per share in dividends over the same period, increasing your return to 20.27%. Even with dividends reinvested, that only amounts to an average annual total return of about 1.7%; so by comparison collecting a yield above 5% would appear considerably attractive if that yield is sustainable. First Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ:FNLC) is a member of the Russell 3000, giving it special status as one of the largest 3000 companies on the U.S. stock markets.

In general, dividend amounts are not always predictable and tend to follow the ups and downs of profitability at each company. In the case of First Bancorp Inc , looking at the history chart for FNLC below can help in judging whether the most recent dividend is likely to continue, and in turn whether it is a reasonable expectation to expect a 5% annual yield.

FNLC Dividend History
Date Div*
10/03/11 0.195
07/01/11 0.195
04/04/11 0.195
01/04/11 0.195
10/04/10 0.195
07/01/10 0.195
03/31/10 0.195
01/05/10 0.195
10/01/09 0.195
07/01/09 0.195
04/02/09 0.195
12/31/08 0.195
10/02/08 0.195
07/02/08 0.190
04/03/08 0.185
01/03/08 0.180
10/04/07 0.175
07/05/07 0.170
04/04/07 0.165
01/04/07 0.160
10/04/06 0.155
07/05/06 0.150
04/05/06 0.145
01/05/06 0.140
10/05/05 0.135
07/06/05 0.130
04/06/05 0.125
01/05/05 0.120
10/06/04 0.115
07/07/04 0.110
04/06/04 0.103
01/07/04 0.100
10/07/03 0.097
07/03/03 0.093
04/03/03 0.090
01/02/03 0.087
10/03/02 0.083
07/02/02 0.080
04/10/02 0.077
01/03/02 0.073
10/03/01 0.070
07/03/01 0.067
03/29/01 0.063
12/28/00 0.060
10/03/00 0.057
06/28/00 0.053
04/03/00 0.050
12/29/99 0.047
09/28/99 0.043
* Data may be adjusted for splits; we are not responsible for data errors; always verify data with the company.

FNLC operates in the Banking & Savings sector, among companies like BanColombia, S.A. (NYSE:CIB) which is up about 0.6% today, and Deutsche Bank AG (NYSE:DB) trading up by about 3.4%. Below is a three month price history chart comparing the stock performance of FNLC, versus CIB and DB.

FNLC,CIB,DB Relative Performance Chart


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