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This is Why Peoples Bancorp (PEBO) is a Great Dividend Stock

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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 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.

Peoples Bancorp in Focus

Peoples Bancorp (PEBO) is headquartered in Marietta, and is in the Finance sector. The stock has seen a price change of 6.04% since the start of the year. The financial services and products company is currently shelling out a dividend of $0.36 per share, with a dividend yield of 4.27%. This compares to the Banks - Midwest industry's yield of 2.56% and the S&P 500's yield of 1.38%.

Looking at dividend growth, the company's current annualized dividend of $1.44 is up 0.7% from last year. In the past five-year period, Peoples Bancorp has increased its dividend 5 times on a year-over-year basis for an average annual increase of 13.45%. 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. Peoples Bancorp's current payout ratio is 44%, meaning it paid out 44% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.

Earnings growth looks solid for PEBO for this fiscal year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2022 is $3.10 per share, which represents a year-over-year growth rate of 43.52%.

Bottom Line

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.

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. During periods of rising interest rates, income investors must be mindful that high-yielding stocks tend to struggle. That said, they can take comfort from the fact that PEBO is not only an attractive dividend play, but also represents a compelling investment opportunity with a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy).


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