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Whether it's through stocks, bonds, ETFs, or other types of securities, all investors love seeing their portfolios score big returns. 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 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 account for significant portions of long-term returns, with dividend contributions exceeding one-third of total returns in many cases.
Lincoln National in Focus
Based in Radnor, Lincoln National (LNC) is in the Finance sector, and so far this year, shares have seen a price change of 22.78%. The insurance and retirement business is paying out a dividend of $0.42 per share at the moment, with a dividend yield of 2.72% compared to the Insurance - Life Insurance industry's yield of 0.6% and the S&P 500's yield of 1.34%.
Taking a look at the company's dividend growth, its current annualized dividend of $1.68 is up 5% from last year. In the past five-year period, Lincoln National has increased its dividend 5 times on a year-over-year basis for an average annual increase of 11.42%. 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. Lincoln National's current payout ratio is 44%, meaning it paid out 44% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.
LNC is expecting earnings to expand this fiscal year as well. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2021 is $9.31 per share, with earnings expected to increase 109.21% from the year ago period.
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.
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. Income investors must be conscious 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 LNC 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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Lincoln National Corporation (LNC) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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