Getting big returns from financial portfolios, whether through stocks, bonds, ETFs, other securities, or a combination of all, is an investor's dream. However, when you're an income investor, your primary focus is generating consistent cash flow from each of your liquid investments.
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.
Stock Yards Bancorp in Focus
Based in Louisville, Stock Yards Bancorp (SYBT - Free Report) is in the Finance sector, and so far this year, shares have seen a price change of 5.27%. Currently paying a dividend of $0.25 per share, the company has a dividend yield of 2.9%. In comparison, the Banks - Southeast industry's yield is 1.73%, while the S&P 500's yield is 1.88%.
Taking a look at the company's dividend growth, its current annualized dividend of $1 is up 4.2% from last year. Over the last 5 years, Stock Yards Bancorp has increased its dividend 5 times on a year-over-year basis for an average annual increase of 13%. 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. Stock Yards's current payout ratio is 41%. This means it paid out 41% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.
SYBT is expecting earnings to expand this fiscal year as well. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2019 is $2.52 per share, which represents a year-over-year growth rate of 4.13%.
Investors like dividends for a variety of different reasons, from tax advantages and decreasing overall portfolio risk to considerably improving stock investing profits. It's important to keep in mind that not all companies provide 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 have to be mindful 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 SYBT is not only an attractive dividend play, but also represents a compelling investment opportunity with a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy).