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Why United Technologies (UTX) is a Great Dividend Stock Right Now

Zacks Equity Research

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.

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.

United Technologies in Focus

Based in Farmington, United Technologies (UTX) is in the Conglomerates sector, and so far this year, shares have seen a price change of 23.35%. Currently paying a dividend of $0.74 per share, the company has a dividend yield of 2.24%. In comparison, the Diversified Operations industry's yield is 1.53%, while the S&P 500's yield is 1.88%.

Looking at dividend growth, the company's current annualized dividend of $2.94 is up 3.7% from last year. United Technologies has increased its dividend 4 times on a year-over-year basis over the last 5 years for an average annual increase of 4.26%. 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. Right now, United Technologies's payout ratio is 38%, which means it paid out 38% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.

UTX is expecting earnings to expand this fiscal year as well. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2019 is $7.97 per share, with earnings expected to increase 4.73% from the year ago period.

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.

For instance, it's a rare occurrence when a tech start-up or big growth business offers their shareholders a dividend. It's more common to see larger companies with more established profits give out dividends. Income investors have to be mindful of the fact that high-yielding stocks tend to struggle during periods of rising interest rates. That said, they can take comfort from the fact that UTX 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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