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Why Sun Communities (SUI) is a Great Dividend Stock Right Now

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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 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.

Sun Communities in Focus

Headquartered in Southfield, Sun Communities (SUI) is a Finance stock that has seen a price change of -23.85% so far this year. The real estate investment trust is paying out a dividend of $0.88 per share at the moment, with a dividend yield of 2.2% compared to the REIT and Equity Trust - Residential industry's yield of 3.05% and the S&P 500's yield of 1.73%.

Taking a look at the company's dividend growth, its current annualized dividend of $3.52 is up 6% from last year. In the past five-year period, Sun Communities has increased its dividend 5 times on a year-over-year basis for an average annual increase of 5.53%. 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. Sun Communities's current payout ratio is 54%, meaning it paid out 54% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.

SUI is expecting earnings to expand this fiscal year as well. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2022 is $7.31 per share, representing a year-over-year earnings growth rate of 12.29%.

Bottom Line

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.

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 SUI 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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