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This is Why Comerica (CMA) is a Great Dividend Stock

Zacks Equity Research
In the latest trading session, McDonald's (MCD) closed at $213.71, marking no change from the previous day.

All investors love getting big returns from their portfolio, whether it's through stocks, bonds, ETFs, or other types of securities. But for income investors, generating consistent cash flow from each of your liquid investments is your primary focus.

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 account for significant portions of long-term returns, with dividend contributions exceeding one-third of total returns in many cases.

Comerica in Focus

Headquartered in Dallas, Comerica (CMA) is a Finance stock that has seen a price change of 3.93% so far this year. Currently paying a dividend of $0.67 per share, the company has a dividend yield of 3.75%. In comparison, the Banks - Major Regional industry's yield is 2.9%, while the S&P 500's yield is 2.03%.

Taking a look at the company's dividend growth, its current annualized dividend of $2.68 is up 45.7% from last year. Comerica has increased its dividend 5 times on a year-over-year basis over the last 5 years for an average annual increase of 25.63%. Looking ahead, future dividend growth will be dependent on earnings growth and payout ratio, which is the proportion of a company's annual earnings per share that it pays out as a dividend. Right now, Comerica's payout ratio is 34%, which means it paid out 34% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.

Earnings growth looks solid for CMA for this fiscal year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2019 is $8.23 per share, which represents a year-over-year growth rate of 14.31%.

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. But, not every company offers 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, CMA 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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