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FNF Group (FNF) is a Top Dividend Stock Right Now: Should You Buy?

Zacks Equity Research
Realty Income Corp. (O) closed the most recent trading day at $68.74, moving -1.94% from the previous trading session.

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.

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.

FNF Group in Focus

Headquartered in Jacksonville, FNF Group (FNF) is a Finance stock that has seen a price change of 26.72% so far this year. The provider of title insurance and mortgage services is currently shelling out a dividend of $0.31 per share, with a dividend yield of 3.11%. This compares to the Insurance - Property and Casualty industry's yield of 1.35% and the S&P 500's yield of 2.02%.

In terms of dividend growth, the company's current annualized dividend of $1.24 is up 3.3% from last year. FNF Group has increased its dividend 5 times on a year-over-year basis over the last 5 years for an average annual increase of 14.04%. 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. FNF Group's current payout ratio is 46%, meaning it paid out 46% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.

Looking at this fiscal year, FNF expects solid earnings growth. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2019 is $2.76 per share, which represents a year-over-year growth rate of 2.22%.

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. 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 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 FNF is not only an attractive dividend play, but is also a compelling investment opportunity with a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy).


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