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Axis Capital (AXS) Could Be a Great Choice
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.
Axis Capital in Focus
Headquartered in Pembroke, Axis Capital (AXS - Free Report) is a Finance stock that has seen a price change of -7.18% so far this year. The insurance company is paying out a dividend of $0.43 per share at the moment, with a dividend yield of 3.4% compared to the Insurance - Property and Casualty industry's yield of 1% and the S&P 500's yield of 1.85%.
Taking a look at the company's dividend growth, its current annualized dividend of $1.72 is up 2.4% from last year. Axis Capital has increased its dividend 5 times on a year-over-year basis over the last 5 years for an average annual increase of 2.40%. 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. Axis Capital's current payout ratio is 29%. This means it paid out 29% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.
Earnings growth looks solid for AXS for this fiscal year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2022 is $6.41 per share, with earnings expected to increase 25.20% from the year ago period.
Investors like dividends for many reasons; they greatly improve stock investing profits, decrease overall portfolio risk, and carry tax advantages, among others. However, not all companies offer a quarterly payout.
For instance, it's a rare occurrence when a tech start-up or big growth business offers their shareholders a dividend. It's more common to see larger companies with more established profits give out dividends. Income investors have to be mindful of the fact that high-yielding stocks tend to struggle during periods of rising interest rates. That said, they can take comfort from the fact that AXS is not only an attractive dividend play, but is also a compelling investment opportunity with a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy).