Looking at the universe of stocks we cover at
, in trading on Monday, shares of Williams Cos Inc (Symbol: WMB)
were yielding above the 4% mark based on its quarterly dividend
(annualized to $1.61), with the stock changing hands as low as
$40.20 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
S&P 500 ETF (
) back on 12/31/1999 - you would have paid $146.88 per share. Fast
forward to 12/31/2012 and each share was worth $142.41 on that
date, a decrease of $4.67/share over all those years. But now
consider that you collected a whopping $25.98 per share in
dividends over the same period, for a positive total return of
23.36%. Even with dividends reinvested, that only amounts to an
average annual total return of about 1.6%; so by comparison
collecting a yield above 4% would appear considerably attractive if
that yield is sustainable. Williams Cos Inc (Symbol: WMB) is an
S&P 500 company, giving it special status as one of the
large-cap companies making up the S&P 500 Index.
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 Williams Cos Inc , looking at the history chart for WMB
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 4% annual yield.
According to the ETF Finder at ETF Channel, WMB makes up 8.93% of
the MLP and Energy Infrastructure ETF (Symbol: MLPX) which is
trading up by about 0.2% on the day Monday.
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