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All investors love getting big returns from their portfolio, whether it's through stocks, bonds, ETFs, or other types of securities. However, when you're an income investor, your primary focus is generating consistent cash flow from each of your liquid investments.
Cash flow can come from bond interest, interest from other types of investments, and of course, 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.
AES in Focus
Based in Arlington, AES (AES) is in the Utilities sector, and so far this year, shares have seen a price change of -10.2%. The power company is currently shelling out a dividend of $0.14 per share, with a dividend yield of 3.21%. This compares to the Utility - Electric Power industry's yield of 3.51% and the S&P 500's yield of 1.66%.
Taking a look at the company's dividend growth, its current annualized dividend of $0.57 is up 4.4% from last year. Over the last 5 years, AES has increased its dividend 5 times on a year-over-year basis for an average annual increase of 7.68%. Future dividend growth will depend on earnings growth as well as payout ratio, which is the proportion of a company's annual earnings per share that it pays out as a dividend. Right now, AES's payout ratio is 42%, which means it paid out 42% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.
AES is expecting earnings to expand this fiscal year as well. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2020 is $1.39 per share, which represents a year-over-year growth rate of 2.21%.
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.
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. During periods of rising interest rates, income investors must be mindful that high-yielding stocks tend to struggle. That said, they can take comfort from the fact that AES is not only an attractive dividend play, but also represents a compelling investment opportunity with a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy).
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The AES Corporation (AES) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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