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Why Prudential (PRU) 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. 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 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.

Prudential in Focus

Based in Newark, Prudential (PRU) is in the Finance sector, and so far this year, shares have seen a price change of -21.01%. The financial services company is currently shelling out a dividend of $0.9 per share, with a dividend yield of 3.96%. This compares to the Insurance - Multi line industry's yield of 2.06% and the S&P 500's yield of 2%.

Taking a look at the company's dividend growth, its current annualized dividend of $3.60 is up 20% from last year. Prudential has increased its dividend 5 times on a year-over-year basis over the last 5 years for an average annual increase of 12.58%. 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, Prudential's payout ratio is 31%, which means it paid out 31% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.

Earnings growth looks solid for PRU for this fiscal year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2018 is $12.21 per share, representing a year-over-year earnings growth rate of 15.41%.

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.

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 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 PRU 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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