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Is Eli Lilly (LLY) a High-Growth Dividend Stock?

Whether it's through stocks, bonds, ETFs, or other types of securities, all investors love seeing their portfolios score big returns. However, when you're an income investor, your primary focus is generating consistent cash flow from each of your liquid investments.

Cash flow can come from bond interest, interest from other types of investments, and of course, dividends. A dividend is the distribution of a company's earnings paid out to shareholders; it's often viewed by its dividend yield, a metric that measures a dividend as a percent of the current stock price. Many academic studies show that dividends make up large portions of long-term returns, and in many cases, dividend contributions surpass one-third of total returns.

Eli Lilly in Focus

Based in Indianapolis, Eli Lilly (LLY) is in the Medical sector, and so far this year, shares have seen a price change of 25.23%. Currently paying a dividend of $0.56 per share, the company has a dividend yield of 2.13%. In comparison, the Large Cap Pharmaceuticals industry's yield is 2.65%, while the S&P 500's yield is 1.79%.

In terms of dividend growth, the company's current annualized dividend of $2.25 is up 8.2% from last year. In the past five-year period, Eli Lilly has increased its dividend 4 times on a year-over-year basis for an average annual increase of 2.48%. Future dividend growth will depend on earnings growth as well as payout ratio, which is the proportion of a company's annual earnings per share that it pays out as a dividend. Lilly's current payout ratio is 45%. This means it paid out 45% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.

Looking at this fiscal year, LLY expects solid earnings growth. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2018 is $5.42 per share, which represents a year-over-year growth rate of 26.64%.

Bottom Line

Investors like dividends for a variety of different reasons, from tax advantages and decreasing overall portfolio risk to considerably improving stock investing profits. However, not all companies offer a quarterly payout.

High-growth firms or tech start-ups, for example, rarely provide their shareholders a dividend, while larger, more established companies that have more secure profits are often seen as the best dividend options. Income investors must be conscious of the fact that high-yielding stocks tend to struggle during periods of rising interest rates. That said, they can take comfort from the fact that LLY is not only an attractive dividend play, but also represents a compelling investment opportunity with a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy).

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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