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Why Spartan Stores (SPTN) is a Great Dividend Stock Right Now

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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 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.

Spartan Stores in Focus

Spartan Stores (SPTN - Free Report) is headquartered in Grand Rapids, and is in the Retail-Wholesale sector. The stock has seen a price change of 35.33% since the start of the year. The grocery store operator and grocery distributor is currently shelling out a dividend of $0.21 per share, with a dividend yield of 2.41%. This compares to the Food - Natural Foods Products industry's yield of 1.07% and the S&P 500's yield of 1.51%.

Taking a look at the company's dividend growth, its current annualized dividend of $0.84 is up 5% from last year. In the past five-year period, Spartan Stores has increased its dividend 5 times on a year-over-year basis for an average annual increase of 4.44%. Looking ahead, future dividend growth will be dependent on earnings growth and payout ratio, which is the proportion of a company's annual earnings per share that it pays out as a dividend. Right now, Spartan Stores's payout ratio is 47%, which means it paid out 47% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.

Earnings growth looks solid for SPTN for this fiscal year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2022 is $2.10 per share, which represents a year-over-year growth rate of 23.53%.

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. 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. During periods of rising interest rates, income investors must be mindful that high-yielding stocks tend to struggle. With that in mind, SPTN 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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