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Why Alexandria Real Estate Equities (ARE) is a Great Dividend Stock Right Now

Zacks Equity Research

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.

Alexandria Real Estate Equities in Focus

Based in Pasadena, Alexandria Real Estate Equities (ARE) is in the Finance sector, and so far this year, shares have seen a price change of 25.82%. Currently paying a dividend of $1 per share, the company has a dividend yield of 2.76%. In comparison, the REIT and Equity Trust - Other industry's yield is 4.31%, while the S&P 500's yield is 1.88%.

Taking a look at the company's dividend growth, its current annualized dividend of $4 is up 7.2% from last year. Over the last 5 years, Alexandria Real Estate Equities has increased its dividend 5 times on a year-over-year basis for an average annual increase of 6.92%. 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. Alexandria Real Estate Equities's current payout ratio is 58%, meaning it paid out 58% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.

ARE is expecting earnings to expand this fiscal year as well. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2019 is $6.98 per share, representing a year-over-year earnings growth rate of 5.76%.

Bottom Line

From greatly improving stock investing profits and reducing overall portfolio risk to providing tax advantages, investors like dividends for a variety of different reasons. 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. That said, they can take comfort from the fact that ARE 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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