Whether it's through stocks, bonds, ETFs, or other types of securities, all investors love seeing their portfolios score big returns. But for income investors, generating consistent cash flow from each of your liquid investments is your primary focus.
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 make up large portions of long-term returns, and in many cases, dividend contributions surpass one-third of total returns.
Ingersoll-Rand in Focus
Based in Dublin, Ingersoll-Rand (IR - Free Report) is in the Industrial Products sector, and so far this year, shares have seen a price change of 24.7%. The manufacturer is currently shelling out a dividend of $2.11 per share, with a dividend yield of 36%. This compares to the Manufacturing - General Industrial industry's yield of 22.84% and the S&P 500's yield of 0.53%.
Looking at dividend growth, the company's current annualized dividend of $1.81 is up 18.5% from last year. In the past five-year period, Ingersoll-Rand has increased its dividend 12.50 times on a year-over-year basis for an average annual increase of 5%. 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. Right now, Ingersoll-Rand's payout ratio is 12.44%, which means it paid out 12.44% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.
Earnings growth looks solid for IR for this fiscal year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2018 is $2.12 per share, with earnings expected to increase 6.21% from the year ago period.
From greatly improving stock investing profits and reducing overall portfolio risk to providing tax advantages, investors like dividends for a variety of different reasons. But, not every company offers 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. 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 IR is not only an attractive dividend play, but is also a compelling investment opportunity with a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy).