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Enterprise Financial Services (EFSC) 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 account for significant portions of long-term returns, with dividend contributions exceeding one-third of total returns in many cases.

Enterprise Financial Services in Focus

Headquartered in Clayton, Enterprise Financial Services (EFSC - Free Report) is a Finance stock that has seen a price change of -5.9% so far this year. Currently paying a dividend of $0.24 per share, the company has a dividend yield of 2.08%. In comparison, the Banks - Midwest industry's yield is 3.18%, while the S&P 500's yield is 1.78%.

In terms of dividend growth, the company's current annualized dividend of $0.96 is up 6.7% from last year. Over the last 5 years, Enterprise Financial Services has increased its dividend 5 times on a year-over-year basis for an average annual increase of 16.18%. 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, Enterprise Financial Services's payout ratio is 18%, which means it paid out 18% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.

Looking at this fiscal year, EFSC expects solid earnings growth. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2023 is $5.68 per share, with earnings expected to increase 7.17% from the year ago period.

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. That said, they can take comfort from the fact that EFSC is not only an attractive dividend play, but is also a compelling investment opportunity with a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy).

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