Getting big returns from financial portfolios, whether through stocks, bonds, ETFs, other securities, or a combination of all, is an investor's dream. But 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 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.
AllianceBernstein in Focus
AllianceBernstein (AB - Free Report) is headquartered in New York, and is in the Finance sector. The stock has seen a price change of 16.4% since the start of the year. The investment management company is currently shelling out a dividend of $8.21 per share, with a dividend yield of 108%. This compares to the Financial - Investment Management industry's yield of 13.04% and the S&P 500's yield of 0.62%.
Taking a look at the company's dividend growth, its current annualized dividend of $8.06 is up 7.9% from last year. AllianceBernstein has increased its dividend 58.70 times on a year-over-year basis over the last 5 years for an average annual increase of 4%. 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. AllianceBernstein's current payout ratio is 20.56%, meaning it paid out 20.56% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.
AB is expecting earnings to expand this fiscal year as well. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2018 is $2.48 per share, representing a year-over-year earnings growth rate of 2.65%.
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. During periods of rising interest rates, income investors must be mindful that high-yielding stocks tend to struggle. That said, they can take comfort from the fact that AB is not only an attractive dividend play, but is also a compelling investment opportunity with a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy).