All investors love getting big returns from their portfolio, whether it's through stocks, bonds, ETFs, or other types of securities. But 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 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 make up large portions of long-term returns, and in many cases, dividend contributions surpass one-third of total returns.
Allstate in Focus
Based in Northbrook, Allstate (ALL) is in the Finance sector, and so far this year, shares have seen a price change of 14.47%. The insurer is paying out a dividend of $0.5 per share at the moment, with a dividend yield of 2.11% compared to the Insurance - Property and Casualty industry's yield of 1.6% and the S&P 500's yield of 1.93%.
In terms of dividend growth, the company's current annualized dividend of $2 is up 8.7% from last year. Over the last 5 years, Allstate has increased its dividend 5 times on a year-over-year basis for an average annual increase of 12.27%. 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. Allstate's current payout ratio is 23%, meaning it paid out 23% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.
Looking at this fiscal year, ALL expects solid earnings growth. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2019 is $9.26 per share, representing a year-over-year earnings growth rate of 14.75%.
Investors like dividends for many reasons; they greatly improve stock investing profits, decrease overall portfolio risk, and carry tax advantages, among others. However, not all companies offer a quarterly payout.
Big, established firms that have more secure profits are often seen as the best dividend options, but it's fairly uncommon to see high-growth businesses or tech start-ups offer their stockholders a dividend. During periods of rising interest rates, income investors must be mindful that high-yielding stocks tend to struggle. With that in mind, ALL 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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The Allstate Corporation (ALL) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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