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Are You Looking for a High-Growth Dividend Stock? National Fuel Gas (NFG) Could Be a Great Choice

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All investors love getting big returns from their portfolio, whether it's through stocks, bonds, ETFs, or other types of securities. 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 the distribution of a company's earnings paid out to shareholders; it's often viewed by its dividend yield, a metric that measures a 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.

National Fuel Gas in Focus

Headquartered in Williamsville, National Fuel Gas (NFG - Free Report) is a Utilities stock that has seen a price change of 1.39% so far this year. The energy company is paying out a dividend of $0.44 per share at the moment, with a dividend yield of 4.27% compared to the Utility - Gas Distribution industry's yield of 3.33% and the S&P 500's yield of 1.42%.

In terms of dividend growth, the company's current annualized dividend of $1.78 is up 1.1% from last year. Over the last 5 years, National Fuel Gas has increased its dividend 5 times on a year-over-year basis for an average annual increase of 2.42%. 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. Right now, National Fuel Gas's payout ratio is 60%, which means it paid out 60% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.

Looking at this fiscal year, NFG expects solid earnings growth. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2021 is $3.74 per share, which represents a year-over-year growth rate of 28.08%.

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.

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, NFG presents a compelling investment opportunity; it's not only an attractive dividend play, but the stock also boasts a strong Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy).


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