Whether it's through stocks, bonds, ETFs, or other types of securities, all investors love seeing their portfolios score big returns. 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 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.
Huntsman in Focus
Headquartered in The Woodlands, Huntsman (HUN - Free Report) is a Basic Materials stock that has seen a price change of -18.2% so far this year. The chemical company is currently shelling out a dividend of $0.16 per share, with a dividend yield of 2.39%. This compares to the Chemical - Diversified industry's yield of 1.61% and the S&P 500's yield of 1.8%.
Looking at dividend growth, the company's current annualized dividend of $0.65 is up 30% from last year. In the past five-year period, Huntsman has increased its dividend 1 times on a year-over-year basis for an average annual increase of 2.88%. 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. Huntsman's current payout ratio is 19%. This means it paid out 19% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.
Earnings growth looks solid for HUN for this fiscal year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2018 is $3.51 per share, with earnings expected to increase 41.53% from the year ago period.
Investors like dividends for a variety of different reasons, from tax advantages and decreasing overall portfolio risk to considerably improving stock investing profits. 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. 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 HUN is not only an attractive dividend play, but is also a compelling investment opportunity with a Zacks Rank of #1 (Strong Buy).