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Why MidWestOne (MOFG) is a Top Dividend Stock for Your Portfolio

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.

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.

MidWestOne in Focus

Based in Iowa City, MidWestOne (MOFG) is in the Finance sector, and so far this year, shares have seen a price change of 25.74%. The holding company for MidWestOne Bank is paying out a dividend of $0.2 per share at the moment, with a dividend yield of 2.59% compared to the Banks - Midwest industry's yield of 2.51% and the S&P 500's yield of 1.88%.

Looking at dividend growth, the company's current annualized dividend of $0.81 is up 3.8% from last year. MidWestOne has increased its dividend 5 times on a year-over-year basis over the last 5 years for an average annual increase of 7.96%. 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. MidWestOne's current payout ratio is 30%, meaning it paid out 30% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.

Looking at this fiscal year, MOFG expects solid earnings growth. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2019 is $3.07 per share, with earnings expected to increase 20.87% from the year ago period.

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. Income investors have to be mindful of the fact that high-yielding stocks tend to struggle during periods of rising interest rates. With that in mind, MOFG presents a compelling investment opportunity; it's not only an attractive dividend play, but the stock also boasts a strong Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy).


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