One of the first things that will probably catch your eye when looking at the Bank of Queensland Ltd (ASX: BOQ) share price right now would be its dividend yield. As it stands today, Bank of Queensland shares are trading at $5.76 each, down 0.26% for the day thus far.
This 7.63% yield makes the other ASX banks look like paupers. The next-closest bank in terms of available yield today is Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Ltd (ASX: BEN), at 6.7%.
But National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX: NAB) currently has a dividend yield of 5.57% on the table today. And Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) is almost looking miserly by comparison, with its present yield of 4.44%.
BOQ's divided yield check out too. It comes from the bank's last two dividend payments. There was the interim dividend of 20 cents per share that we saw in June. As well as the 24 cents per share that was distributed to shareholders last November. Together, that annual total of 44 cents per share gives the BOQ share price of $5.76 a dividend yield of 7.63%.
But today, let's discuss whether this rather stupendous dividend yield makes BOQ shares a buy for income investors in September 2023.
Are Bank of Queensland shares a banking buy for income right now?
When I look at a dividend share in terms of its income potential, the dividend yield is only one metric I use in analysing its income potential.
Let's move on to BOQ's payout ratio. The dividend payout ratio is a metric that tells us what proportion of a company's earnings are being paid out as dividends. If a payout ratio is at 50%, it tells us that there is a fat cushion around a dividend, and indicates that a dividend cut is not too likely.
On the other hand, if a payout ratio is at 95%, it might be telling us that the company doesn't have a lot of wriggle room. And as such, the dividend might be in danger of being cut.
Looking at BOQ's last half-year report from April, and it tells us that the 20 cents per share interim dividend came from an earnings per share (EPS) of 39 cents (basic). That gives us a payout ratio of 51%. Last year, BOQ's final dividend of 24 cents per share was drawn from an earnings base of 36.8 cents. That represents a payout ratio of 64.7%.
These are both pretty comfortable figures for a bank and indicate (in my view) that this dividend is built on a very stable and sustainable foundation.
As such, I would argue that Bank of Queensland shares are a buy today for anyone seeking hefty dividend income. This ASX bank doesn't have a great performance track record when it comes to share price growth. In fact, BOQ shares remain down by almost 50% over the past five years:
But for an investor purely seeking dividend income, I think this ASX bank would be a great addition to a diversified, dividend-focused portfolio.