Getting big returns from financial portfolios, whether through stocks, bonds, ETFs, other securities, or a combination of all, is an investor's dream. 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 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.
Independent Bank Corp. In Focus
Headquartered in Rockland, Independent Bank Corp. (INDB - Free Report) is a Finance stock that has seen a price change of 6.04% so far this year. Currently paying a dividend of $0.82 per share, the company has a dividend yield of 2.36%. In comparison, the Banks - Northeast industry's yield is 1.77%, while the S&P 500's yield is 1.99%.
In terms of dividend growth, the company's current annualized dividend of $1.76 is up 15.8% from last year. Independent Bank Corp. has increased its dividend 5 times on a year-over-year basis over the last 5 years for an average annual increase of 11.45%. 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. Independent Bank Corp.'s current payout ratio is 32%. This means it paid out 32% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.
INDB is expecting earnings to expand this fiscal year as well. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2019 is $5.58 per share, representing a year-over-year earnings growth rate of 18.98%.
Investors like dividends for many reasons; they greatly improve stock investing profits, decrease overall portfolio risk, and carry tax advantages, among others. 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, INDB 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).