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 account for significant portions of long-term returns, with dividend contributions exceeding one-third of total returns in many cases.
PGE in Focus
Based in Portland, PGE (POR) is in the Utilities sector, and so far this year, shares have seen a price change of 21.33%. The electric utility is currently shelling out a dividend of $0.36 per share, with a dividend yield of 2.61%. This compares to the Utility - Electric Power industry's yield of 2.84% and the S&P 500's yield of 1.94%.
Taking a look at the company's dividend growth, its current annualized dividend of $1.45 is up 1.5% from last year. Over the last 5 years, PGE has increased its dividend 5 times on a year-over-year basis for an average annual increase of 6.37%. 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. PGE's current payout ratio is 59%. This means it paid out 59% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.
Looking at this fiscal year, POR expects solid earnings growth. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2019 is $2.45 per share, with earnings expected to increase 3.38% from the year ago period.
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.
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. Income investors must be conscious of the fact that high-yielding stocks tend to struggle during periods of rising interest rates. With that in mind, POR 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).
Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report
Portland General Electric Company (POR) : Free Stock Analysis Report
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.
Zacks Investment Research