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Why American Homes 4 Rent (AMH) is a Top Dividend Stock for Your Portfolio

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Getting big returns from financial portfolios, whether through stocks, bonds, ETFs, other securities, or a combination of all, is an investor's dream. However, when you're an income investor, your primary focus is generating consistent cash flow from each of your liquid investments.

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 account for significant portions of long-term returns, with dividend contributions exceeding one-third of total returns in many cases.

American Homes 4 Rent in Focus

Based in Calabasas, American Homes 4 Rent (AMH - Free Report) is in the Finance sector, and so far this year, shares have seen a price change of -18.3%. The real estate company is paying out a dividend of $0.18 per share at the moment, with a dividend yield of 2.02% compared to the REIT and Equity Trust - Residential industry's yield of 2.9% and the S&P 500's yield of 1.68%.

Looking at dividend growth, the company's current annualized dividend of $0.72 is up 80% from last year. In the past five-year period, American Homes 4 Rent has increased its dividend 2 times on a year-over-year basis for an average annual increase of 26.97%. 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. American Homes 4 Rent's current payout ratio is 49%, meaning it paid out 49% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.

AMH is expecting earnings to expand this fiscal year as well. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2022 is $1.56 per share, with earnings expected to increase 14.71% from the year ago period.

Bottom Line

From greatly improving stock investing profits and reducing overall portfolio risk to providing tax advantages, investors like dividends for a variety of different reasons. 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 must be conscious of the fact that high-yielding stocks tend to struggle during periods of rising interest rates. With that in mind, AMH 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).

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