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.
Intel in Focus
Headquartered in Santa Clara, Intel (INTC - Free Report) is a Computer and Technology stock that has seen a price change of -0.54% so far this year. The world's largest chipmaker is currently shelling out a dividend of $0.3 per share, with a dividend yield of 2.61%. This compares to the Semiconductor - General industry's yield of 0.98% and the S&P 500's yield of 1.79%.
In terms of dividend growth, the company's current annualized dividend of $1.20 is up 11.3% from last year. In the past five-year period, Intel has increased its dividend 4 times on a year-over-year basis for an average annual increase of 6.33%. 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. Intel's current payout ratio is 30%. This means it paid out 30% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.
INTC is expecting earnings to expand this fiscal year as well. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2018 is $4.15 per share, which represents a year-over-year growth rate of 19.94%.
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 INTC is not only an attractive dividend play, but also represents a compelling investment opportunity with a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy).