Whether it's through stocks, bonds, ETFs, or other types of securities, all investors love seeing their portfolios score big returns. 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.
Ameriprise Financial Services in Focus
Based in Minneapolis, Ameriprise Financial Services (AMP - Free Report) is in the Finance sector, and so far this year, shares have seen a price change of -8.69%. Currently paying a dividend of $1.04 per share, the company has a dividend yield of 2.74%. In comparison, the Financial - Investment Management industry's yield is 1.62%, while the S&P 500's yield is 1.65%.
Looking at dividend growth, the company's current annualized dividend of $4.16 is up 9.2% from last year. Over the last 5 years, Ameriprise Financial Services has increased its dividend 5 times on a year-over-year basis for an average annual increase of 9.42%. 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. Ameriprise's current payout ratio is 25%, meaning it paid out 25% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.
Looking at this fiscal year, AMP expects solid earnings growth. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2020 is $16.35 per share, representing a year-over-year earnings growth rate of 1.55%.
Investors like dividends for many reasons; they greatly improve stock investing profits, decrease overall portfolio risk, and carry tax advantages, among others. 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 have to be mindful of the fact that high-yielding stocks tend to struggle during periods of rising interest rates. With that in mind, AMP 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).