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Why Sempra (SRE) is a Great Dividend Stock Right Now

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.

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

Sempra in Focus

Headquartered in San Diego, Sempra (SRE) is a Utilities stock that has seen a price change of 16.06% so far this year. The natural gas and electricity provider is paying out a dividend of $2.28 per share at the moment, with a dividend yield of 2.98% compared to the Utility - Gas Distribution industry's yield of 3.13% and the S&P 500's yield of 1.74%.

In terms of dividend growth, the company's current annualized dividend of $4.58 is up 4.1% from last year. Sempra has increased its dividend 5 times on a year-over-year basis over the last 5 years for an average annual increase of 6.77%. 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. Sempra's current payout ratio is 52%, meaning it paid out 52% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.

Earnings growth looks solid for SRE for this fiscal year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2022 is $8.65 per share, representing a year-over-year earnings growth rate of 2.61%.

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 must be conscious of the fact that high-yielding stocks tend to struggle during periods of rising interest rates. With that in mind, SRE 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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