Getting big returns from financial portfolios, whether through stocks, bonds, ETFs, other securities, or a combination of all, is an investor's dream. 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.
Comerica in Focus
Comerica (CMA - Free Report) is headquartered in Dallas, and is in the Finance sector. The stock has seen a price change of 12.3% since the start of the year. The regional bank is paying out a dividend of $0.67 per share at the moment, with a dividend yield of 3.47% compared to the Banks - Major Regional industry's yield of 2.97% and the S&P 500's yield of 1.92%.
Looking at dividend growth, the company's current annualized dividend of $2.68 is up 45.7% from last year. Over the last 5 years, Comerica has increased its dividend 5 times on a year-over-year basis for an average annual increase of 25.63%. 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, Comerica's payout ratio is 33%, which means it paid out 33% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.
Earnings growth looks solid for CMA for this fiscal year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2019 is $8.11 per share, which represents a year-over-year growth rate of 12.64%.
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.
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, CMA 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).