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 account for significant portions of long-term returns, with dividend contributions exceeding one-third of total returns in many cases.
The First of Long Island in Focus
Based in Melville, The First of Long Island (FLIC) is in the Finance sector, and so far this year, shares have seen a price change of -15.15%. The holding company for The First National Bank of Long Island is paying out a dividend of $0.2 per share at the moment, with a dividend yield of 4.37% compared to the Banks - Northeast industry's yield of 2.36% and the S&P 500's yield of 1.69%.
Looking at dividend growth, the company's current annualized dividend of $0.80 is up 3.9% from last year. The First of Long Island has increased its dividend 5 times on a year-over-year basis over the last 5 years for an average annual increase of 7.45%. Future dividend growth will depend on earnings growth as well as payout ratio, which is the proportion of a company's annual earnings per share that it pays out as a dividend. Right now, The First of Long Island's payout ratio is 42%, which means it paid out 42% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.
Earnings growth looks solid for FLIC for this fiscal year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2022 is $2.07 per share, with earnings expected to increase 14.36% from the year ago period.
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.
Big, established firms that have more secure profits are often seen as the best dividend options, but it's fairly uncommon to see high-growth businesses or tech start-ups offer their stockholders a dividend. 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 FLIC 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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