Whether it's through stocks, bonds, ETFs, or other types of securities, all investors love seeing their portfolios score big returns. But when you're an income investor, your primary focus is generating consistent cash flow from each of your liquid investments.
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.
First Industrial Realty Trust in Focus
First Industrial Realty Trust (FR - Free Report) is headquartered in Chicago, and is in the Finance sector. The stock has seen a price change of -1.73% since the start of the year. The real estate investment trust is currently shelling out a dividend of $0.25 per share, with a dividend yield of 2.45%. This compares to the REIT and Equity Trust - Other industry's yield of 3.79% and the S&P 500's yield of 1.66%.
Taking a look at the company's dividend growth, its current annualized dividend of $1 is up 8.7% from last year. First Industrial Realty Trust has increased its dividend 5 times on a year-over-year basis over the last 5 years for an average annual increase of 10.76%. 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. First Industrial Realty Trust's current payout ratio is 56%, meaning it paid out 56% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.
Looking at this fiscal year, FR expects solid earnings growth. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2020 is $1.80 per share, which represents a year-over-year growth rate of 3.45%.
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. Income investors have to be mindful of the fact that high-yielding stocks tend to struggle during periods of rising interest rates. With that in mind, FR 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).