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Alexandria Real Estate Equities (ARE) is a Top Dividend Stock Right Now: Should You Buy?

Zacks Equity Research
Urban Outfitters (URBN) delivered earnings and revenue surprises of 19.23% and 0.83%, respectively, for the quarter ended April 2019. Do the numbers hold clues to what lies ahead for the stock?

All investors love getting big returns from their portfolio, whether it's through stocks, bonds, ETFs, or other types of securities. 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 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.

Alexandria Real Estate Equities in Focus

Based in Pasadena, Alexandria Real Estate Equities (ARE) is in the Finance sector, and so far this year, shares have seen a price change of 13.62%. The life science real estate company is currently shelling out a dividend of $0.97 per share, with a dividend yield of 2.96%. This compares to the REIT and Equity Trust - Other industry's yield of 4.41% and the S&P 500's yield of 1.97%.

In terms of dividend growth, the company's current annualized dividend of $3.88 is up 4% from last year. Alexandria Real Estate Equities has increased its dividend 5 times on a year-over-year basis over the last 5 years for an average annual increase of 6.63%. 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. Alexandria Real Estate Equities's current payout ratio is 58%, meaning it paid out 58% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.

Looking at this fiscal year, ARE expects solid earnings growth. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2019 is $6.94 per share, which represents a year-over-year growth rate of 5.15%.

Bottom Line

From greatly improving stock investing profits and reducing overall portfolio risk to providing tax advantages, investors like dividends for a variety of different reasons. 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. During periods of rising interest rates, income investors must be mindful that high-yielding stocks tend to struggle. That said, they can take comfort from the fact that ARE 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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