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This is Why T. Rowe Price (TROW) is a Great Dividend Stock

Zacks Equity Research
Dividends are one of the best benefits to being a shareholder, but finding a great dividend stock is no easy task. Does Atmos Energy (ATO) have what it takes? Let's find out.

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 make up large portions of long-term returns, and in many cases, dividend contributions surpass one-third of total returns.

T. Rowe Price in Focus

Based in Baltimore, T. Rowe Price (TROW) is in the Finance sector, and so far this year, shares have seen a price change of 14.89%. The financial services firm is currently shelling out a dividend of $0.76 per share, with a dividend yield of 2.87%. This compares to the Financial - Investment Management industry's yield of 2.95% and the S&P 500's yield of 1.88%.

Looking at dividend growth, the company's current annualized dividend of $3.04 is up 8.6% from last year. In the past five-year period, T. Rowe Price has increased its dividend 5 times on a year-over-year basis for an average annual increase of 10.86%. Any future dividend growth will depend on both earnings growth and the company's payout ratio; a payout ratio is the proportion of a firm's annual earnings per share that it pays out as a dividend. Right now, T. Rowe's payout ratio is 42%, which means it paid out 42% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.

TROW is expecting earnings to expand this fiscal year as well. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2019 is $7.46 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. 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, TROW presents a compelling investment opportunity; it's not only an attractive dividend play, but the stock also boasts a strong Zacks Rank of #1 (Strong Buy).


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