Whether it's through stocks, bonds, ETFs, or other types of securities, all investors love seeing their portfolios score big returns. But for income investors, generating consistent cash flow from each of your liquid investments is your primary focus.
Cash flow can come from bond interest, interest from other types of investments, and of course, dividends. A dividend is that coveted distribution of a company's earnings paid out to shareholders, and investors often view it by its dividend yield, a metric that measures the 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.
Lam Research in Focus
Based in Fremont, Lam Research (LRCX) is in the Computer and Technology sector, and so far this year, shares have seen a price change of -23.62%. The semiconductor equipment maker is paying out a dividend of $1.15 per share at the moment, with a dividend yield of 2.06% compared to the Semiconductor Equipment - Wafer Fabrication industry's yield of 1.33% and the S&P 500's yield of 2.53%.
Looking at dividend growth, the company's current annualized dividend of $4.60 is up 4.5% from last year. In the past five-year period, Lam Research has increased its dividend 5 times on a year-over-year basis for an average annual increase of 48.01%. 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, Lam Research's payout ratio is 32%, which means it paid out 32% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.
LRCX is expecting earnings to expand this fiscal year as well. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2020 is $15.91 per share, which represents a year-over-year growth rate of 9.35%.
Investors like dividends for many reasons; they greatly improve stock investing profits, decrease overall portfolio risk, and carry tax advantages, among others. 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 have to be mindful of the fact that high-yielding stocks tend to struggle during periods of rising interest rates. With that in mind, LRCX 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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