Looking at the universe of stocks we cover at
, in trading on Friday, shares of Hancock Holding Co. (Symbol:
HBHC) were yielding above the 3% mark based on its quarterly
dividend (annualized to $0.96), with the stock changing hands as
low as $31.25 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 (
) back on 5/31/2000 - you would have paid $78.27 per share. Fast
forward to 5/31/2012 and each share was worth $77.79 on that date,
a loss of $0.48 or 0.6% decrease over twelve years. But now
consider that you collected a whopping $10.77 per share in
dividends over the same period, increasing your return to 13.15%.
Even with dividends reinvested, that only amounts to an average
annual total return of about 1.0%; so by comparison collecting a
yield above 3% would appear considerably attractive if that yield
is sustainable. Hancock Holding Co. (Symbol: HBHC) 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 Hancock Holding Co., looking at the history chart for HBHC
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 3% annual yield.
According to the ETF Finder at ETF Channel, HBHC makes up 1.71% of
the SPDR S&P Bank ETF (Symbol: KBE) which is trading higher by
about 0.1% on the day Friday.
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