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Why TD Ameritrade (AMTD) is a Great Dividend Stock Right Now

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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 for income investors, generating consistent cash flow from each of your liquid investments is your primary focus.

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.

TD Ameritrade in Focus

Headquartered in Omaha, TD Ameritrade (AMTD - Free Report) is a Finance stock that has seen a price change of 14.77% so far this year. The online brokerage is paying out a dividend of $0.3 per share at the moment, with a dividend yield of 2.14% compared to the Financial - Investment Bank industry's yield of 0.8% and the S&P 500's yield of 1.92%.

Taking a look at the company's dividend growth, its current annualized dividend of $1.20 is up 42.9% from last year. TD Ameritrade has increased its dividend 5 times on a year-over-year basis over the last 5 years for an average annual increase of 15.10%. Future dividend growth will depend on earnings growth as well as payout ratio, which is the proportion of a company's annual earnings per share that it pays out as a dividend. TD Ameritrade's current payout ratio is 33%. This means it paid out 33% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.

Looking at this fiscal year, AMTD expects solid earnings growth. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2019 is $4.04 per share, with earnings expected to increase 20.96% from the year ago period.

Bottom Line

From greatly improving stock investing profits and reducing overall portfolio risk to providing tax advantages, investors like dividends for a variety of different reasons. However, not all companies offer a quarterly payout.

High-growth firms or tech start-ups, for example, rarely provide their shareholders a dividend, while larger, more established companies that have more secure profits are often seen as the best dividend options. Income investors must be conscious of the fact that high-yielding stocks tend to struggle during periods of rising interest rates. With that in mind, AMTD is a compelling investment opportunity. Not only is it a strong dividend play, but the stock currently sits at a Zacks Rank of 3 (Hold).


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