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First Industrial Realty Trust (FR) is a Top Dividend Stock Right Now: Should You Buy?

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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.

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.

First Industrial Realty Trust in Focus

Headquartered in Chicago, First Industrial Realty Trust (FR - Free Report) is a Finance stock that has seen a price change of 22.66% so far this year. The real estate investment trust is currently shelling out a dividend of $0.23 per share, with a dividend yield of 2.6%. This compares to the REIT and Equity Trust - Other industry's yield of 4.27% and the S&P 500's yield of 1.95%.

In terms of dividend growth, the company's current annualized dividend of $0.92 is up 5.7% from last year. First Industrial Realty Trust has increased its dividend 5 times on a year-over-year basis over the last 5 years for an average annual increase of 20.15%. 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. First Industrial Realty Trust's current payout ratio is 57%, meaning it paid out 57% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.

FR is expecting earnings to expand this fiscal year as well. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2019 is $1.70 per share, representing a year-over-year earnings growth rate of 6.25%.

Bottom Line

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 must be conscious 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 FR is not only an attractive dividend play, but also represents a compelling investment opportunity with a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy).


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