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Whirlpool (WHR) is a Top Dividend Stock Right Now: Should You Buy?

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Zacks Equity Research
·2 min read
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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. But for income investors, generating consistent cash flow from each of your liquid investments is your primary focus.

While cash flow can come from bond interest or interest from other types of investments, income investors hone in on dividends. A dividend is the distribution of a company's earnings paid out to shareholders; it's often viewed by its dividend yield, a metric that measures a 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.

Whirlpool in Focus

Based in Benton Harbor, Whirlpool (WHR) is in the Consumer Discretionary sector, and so far this year, shares have seen a price change of 14.37%. Currently paying a dividend of $1.25 per share, the company has a dividend yield of 2.42%. In comparison, the Household Appliances industry's yield is 1.06%, while the S&P 500's yield is 1.45%.

Taking a look at the company's dividend growth, its current annualized dividend of $5 is up 3.1% from last year. Over the last 5 years, Whirlpool has increased its dividend 5 times on a year-over-year basis for an average annual increase of 5.63%. 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. Whirlpool's current payout ratio is 29%, meaning it paid out 29% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.

Earnings growth looks solid for WHR for this fiscal year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2021 is $19.28 per share, representing a year-over-year earnings growth rate of 3.94%.

Bottom Line

Investors like dividends for a variety of different reasons, from tax advantages and decreasing overall portfolio risk to considerably improving stock investing profits. However, not all companies offer 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 have to be mindful of the fact that high-yielding stocks tend to struggle during periods of rising interest rates. With that in mind, WHR 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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Zacks Investment Research