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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 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.
MDU Resources in Focus
Based in Bismarck, MDU Resources (MDU) is in the Utilities sector, and so far this year, shares have seen a price change of 2.47%. Currently paying a dividend of $0.21 per share, the company has a dividend yield of 3.15%. In comparison, the Utility - Gas Distribution industry's yield is 3.09%, while the S&P 500's yield is 1.45%.
In terms of dividend growth, the company's current annualized dividend of $0.85 is up 1.8% from last year. Over the last 5 years, MDU Resources has increased its dividend 5 times on a year-over-year basis for an average annual increase of 2.57%. 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. MDU Resources's current payout ratio is 45%, meaning it paid out 45% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.
Earnings growth looks solid for MDU for this fiscal year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2021 is $2.05 per share, representing a year-over-year earnings growth rate of 5.13%.
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. 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 MDU 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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MDU Resources Group, Inc. (MDU) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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