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KLA-Tencor (KLAC) is a Top Dividend Stock Right Now: Should You Buy?

Getting big returns from financial portfolios, whether through stocks, bonds, ETFs, other securities, or a combination of all, is an investor's dream. But for income investors, generating consistent cash flow from each of your liquid investments is your primary focus.

While cash flow can come from bond interest or interest from other types of investments, income investors hone in on 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 tha t dividends make up large portions of long-term returns, and in many cases, dividend contributions surpass one-third of total returns.

KLA-Tencor in Focus

Based in Milpitas, KLA-Tencor (KLAC) is in the Computer and Technology sector, and so far this year, shares have seen a price change of 19.52%. The maker of equipment for manufacturing semiconductors is currently shelling out a dividend of $0.75 per share, with a dividend yield of 2.8%. This compares to the Semiconductor Equipment - Wafer Fabrication industry's yield of 2.04% and the S&P 500's yield of 1.97%.

Taking a look at the company's dividend growth, its current annualized dividend of $3 is up 19% from last year. Over the last 5 years, KLA-Tencor has increased its dividend 5 times on a year-over-year basis for an average annual increase of 9.61%. Looking ahead, future dividend growth will be dependent on earnings growth and payout ratio, which is the proportion of a company's annual earnings per share that it pays out as a dividend. Right now, KLA-Tencor's payout ratio is 35%, which means it paid out 35% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.

KLAC is expecting earnings to expand this fiscal year as well. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2019 is $8.34 per share, with earnings expected to increase 4.25% from the year ago period.

Bottom Line

Investors like dividends for many reasons; they greatly improve stock investing profits, decrease overall portfolio risk, and carry tax advantages, among others. But, not every company offers a quarterly payout.

Big, established firms that have more secure profits are often seen as the best dividend options, but it's fairly uncommon to see high-growth businesses or tech start-ups offer their stockholders a dividend. Income investors have to be mindful of the fact that high-yielding stocks tend to struggle during periods of rising interest rates. With that in mind, KLAC is a compelling investment opportunity. Not only is it a strong dividend play, but the stock currently sits at a Zacks Rank of 3 (Hold).

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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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