Getting big returns from financial portfolios, whether through stocks, bonds, ETFs, other securities, or a combination of all, is an investor's dream. However, 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 account for significant portions of long-term returns, with dividend contributions exceeding one-third of total returns in many cases.
Rockwell Automation in Focus
Based in Milwaukee, Rockwell Automation (ROK) is in the Industrial Products sector, and so far this year, shares have seen a price change of -9.24%. The industrial equipment and software maker is paying out a dividend of $1.02 per share at the moment, with a dividend yield of 2.22% compared to the Industrial Automation and Robotics industry's yield of 0.65% and the S&P 500's yield of 2.04%.
In terms of dividend growth, the company's current annualized dividend of $4.08 is up 5.2% from last year. Over the last 5 years, Rockwell Automation has increased its dividend 5 times on a year-over-year basis for an average annual increase of 10.41%. 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. Rockwell Automation's current payout ratio is 48%. This means it paid out 48% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.
Looking at this fiscal year, ROK expects solid earnings growth. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2020 is $8.92 per share, with earnings expected to increase 2.88% from the year ago period.
Investors like dividends for many reasons; they greatly improve stock investing profits, decrease overall portfolio risk, and carry tax advantages, among others. It's important to keep in mind that not all companies provide 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 must be conscious of the fact that high-yielding stocks tend to struggle during periods of rising interest rates. With that in mind, ROK 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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Rockwell Automation, Inc. (ROK) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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