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Why Lockheed Martin (LMT) is a Top Dividend Stock for Your Portfolio

Whether it's through stocks, bonds, ETFs, or other types of securities, all investors love seeing their portfolios score big returns. But 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 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 account for significant portions of long-term returns, with dividend contributions exceeding one-third of total returns in many cases.

Lockheed Martin in Focus

Lockheed Martin (LMT) is headquartered in Bethesda, and is in the Aerospace sector. The stock has seen a price change of -8.66% since the start of the year. Currently paying a dividend of $2.4 per share, the company has a dividend yield of 2.7%. In comparison, the Aerospace - Defense industry's yield is 0.87%, while the S&P 500's yield is 1.86%.

Looking at dividend growth, the company's current annualized dividend of $9.60 is up 6.7% from last year. Over the last 5 years, Lockheed Martin has increased its dividend 5 times on a year-over-year basis for an average annual increase of 9.97%. 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. Lockheed's current payout ratio is 44%. This means it paid out 44% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.

Earnings growth looks solid for LMT for this fiscal year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2020 is $24.05 per share, representing a year-over-year earnings growth rate of 9.57%.

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.

For instance, it's a rare occurrence when a tech start-up or big growth business offers their shareholders a dividend. It's more common to see larger companies with more established profits give out dividends. 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, LMT 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.

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