Getting big returns from financial portfolios, whether through stocks, bonds, ETFs, other securities, or a combination of all, is an investor's dream. But 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 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.
SL Green in Focus
SL Green (SLG) is headquartered in New York, and is in the Finance sector. The stock has seen a price change of 11.37% since the start of the year. Currently paying a dividend of $0.85 per share, the company has a dividend yield of 3.86%. In comparison, the REIT and Equity Trust - Other industry's yield is 4.65%, while the S&P 500's yield is 2.01%.
Taking a look at the company's dividend growth, its current annualized dividend of $3.40 is up 3.4% from last year. Over the last 5 years, SL Green has increased its dividend 5 times on a year-over-year basis for an average annual increase of 11.97%. 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. SL Green's current payout ratio is 49%, meaning it paid out 49% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.
Earnings growth looks solid for SLG for this fiscal year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2019 is $6.92 per share, with earnings expected to increase 4.53% 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.
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 have to be mindful of the fact that high-yielding stocks tend to struggle during periods of rising interest rates. With that in mind, SLG 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).
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