U.S. Markets open in 3 hrs 57 mins

Should MetLife Inc (NYSE:MET) Be Part Of Your Dividend Portfolio?

Gerald Huddleston

MetLife Inc (NYSE:MET) has pleased shareholders over the past 10 years, paying out an average dividend of 3.0% annually. The company is currently worth US$45.48b, and now yields roughly 3.7%. Should it have a place in your portfolio? Let’s take a look at MetLife in more detail.

See our latest analysis for MetLife

5 checks you should do on a dividend stock

When researching a dividend stock, I always follow the following screening criteria:

  • Is its annual yield among the top 25% of dividend-paying companies?
  • Has it paid dividend every year without dramatically reducing payout in the past?
  • Has dividend per share amount increased over the past?
  • Is is able to pay the current rate of dividends from its earnings?
  • Will it be able to continue to payout at the current rate in the future?
NYSE:MET Historical Dividend Yield September 11th 18

How well does MetLife fit our criteria?

The company currently pays out 32.2% of its earnings as a dividend, according to its trailing twelve-month data, meaning the dividend is sufficiently covered by earnings. In the near future, analysts are predicting a payout ratio of 31.6%, leading to a dividend yield of around 3.8%. Moreover, EPS is forecasted to fall to $4.78 in the upcoming year.

When considering the sustainability of dividends, it is also worth checking the cash flow of a company. Cash flow is important because companies with strong cash flow can usually sustain higher payout ratios.

If dividend is a key criteria in your investment consideration, then you need to make sure the dividend stock you’re eyeing out is reliable in its payments. In the case of MET it has increased its DPS from $0.74 to $1.68 in the past 10 years. During this period it has not missed a payment, as one would expect for a company increasing its dividend. This is an impressive feat, which makes MET a true dividend rockstar.

Relative to peers, MetLife produces a yield of 3.7%, which is high for Insurance stocks but still below the market’s top dividend payers.

Next Steps:

With this in mind, I definitely rank MetLife as a strong dividend stock, and makes it worth further research for anyone who likes steady income generation from their portfolio. Given that this is purely a dividend analysis, you should always research extensively before deciding whether or not a stock is an appropriate investment for you. I always recommend analysing the company’s fundamentals and underlying business before making an investment decision. There are three important factors you should look at:

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for MET’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for MET’s outlook.
  2. Valuation: What is MET worth today? Even if the stock is a cash cow, it’s not worth an infinite price. The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether MET is currently mispriced by the market.
  3. Other Dividend Rockstars: Are there better dividend payers with stronger fundamentals out there? Check out our free list of these great stocks here.

To help readers see past the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements.

The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned. For errors that warrant correction please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com.