Whether it's through stocks, bonds, ETFs, or other types of securities, all investors love seeing their portfolios score big returns. However, 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 make up large portions of long-term returns, and in many cases, dividend contributions surpass one-third of total returns.
Everest Re in Focus
Everest Re is headquartered in Hamilton, and is in the Finance sector. The stock has seen a price change of 1.1% since the start of the year. The reinsurance company is paying out a dividend of $1.65 per share at the moment, with a dividend yield of 2.38% compared to the Insurance - Property and Casualty industry's yield of 1.11% and the S&P 500's yield of 1.75%.
Looking at dividend growth, the company's current annualized dividend of $6.60 is up 6.5% from last year. Over the last 5 years, Everest Re has increased its dividend 4 times on a year-over-year basis for an average annual increase of 5.43%. 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. Everest Re's current payout ratio is 19%, meaning it paid out 19% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.
RE is expecting earnings to expand this fiscal year as well. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2022 is $33.37 per share, representing a year-over-year earnings growth rate of 15.19%.
Investors like dividends for a variety of different reasons, from tax advantages and decreasing overall portfolio risk to considerably improving stock investing profits. However, not all companies offer 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, RE 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).