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.
Central Valley Community Bancorp in Focus
Based in Fresno, Central Valley Community Bancorp (CVCY - Free Report) is in the Finance sector, and so far this year, shares have seen a price change of 4.4%. The holding company for Central Valley Community Bank is currently shelling out a dividend of $0.1 per share, with a dividend yield of 2.03%. This compares to the Banks - West industry's yield of 1.71% and the S&P 500's yield of 1.94%.
In terms of dividend growth, the company's current annualized dividend of $0.40 is up 29% from last year. In the past five-year period, Central Valley Community Bancorp has increased its dividend 2 times on a year-over-year basis for an average annual increase of 9.63%. 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, Central Valley Community Bancorp's payout ratio is 23%, which means it paid out 23% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.
CVCY is expecting earnings to expand this fiscal year as well. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2019 is $1.64 per share, with earnings expected to increase 6.49% 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 have to be mindful of the fact that high-yielding stocks tend to struggle during periods of rising interest rates. With that in mind, CVCY 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).