Getting big returns from financial portfolios, whether through stocks, bonds, ETFs, other securities, or a combination of all, is an investor's dream. However, when you're an income investor, your primary focus is generating consistent cash flow from each of your liquid investments.
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 that dividends make up large portions of long-term returns, and in many cases, dividend contributions surpass one-third of total returns.
Procter & Gamble in Focus
Headquartered in Cincinnati, Procter & Gamble (PG) is a Consumer Staples stock that has seen a price change of 13.81% so far this year. The world's largest consumer products maker is paying out a dividend of $0.79 per share at the moment, with a dividend yield of 2.22% compared to the Soap and Cleaning Materials industry's yield of 1.93% and the S&P 500's yield of 1.54%.
Taking a look at the company's dividend growth, its current annualized dividend of $3.16 is up 4.4% from last year. In the past five-year period, Procter & Gamble has increased its dividend 5 times on a year-over-year basis for an average annual increase of 3.73%. Any future dividend growth will depend on both earnings growth and the company's payout ratio; a payout ratio is the proportion of a firm's annual earnings per share that it pays out as a dividend. P&G's current payout ratio is 59%. This means it paid out 59% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.
PG is expecting earnings to expand this fiscal year as well. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2020 is $5.55 per share, with earnings expected to increase 8.40% from the year ago period.
From greatly improving stock investing profits and reducing overall portfolio risk to providing tax advantages, investors like dividends for a variety of different reasons. 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. With that in mind, PG 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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