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 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.
Eaton Vance in Focus
Based in Boston, Eaton Vance (EV - Free Report) is in the Finance sector, and so far this year, shares have seen a price change of 14.67%. The investment manager is paying out a dividend of $0.35 per share at the moment, with a dividend yield of 3.47% compared to the Financial - Investment Management industry's yield of 3.22% and the S&P 500's yield of 1.96%.
Looking at dividend growth, the company's current annualized dividend of $1.40 is up 9.4% from last year. Eaton Vance has increased its dividend 5 times on a year-over-year basis over the last 5 years for an average annual increase of 8.76%. 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. Eaton Vance's current payout ratio is 43%. This means it paid out 43% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.
EV is expecting earnings to expand this fiscal year as well. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2019 is $3.33 per share, representing a year-over-year earnings growth rate of 3.74%.
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.
For instance, it's a rare occurrence when a tech start-up or big growth business offers their shareholders a dividend. It's more common to see larger companies with more established profits give out dividends. 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, EV presents a compelling investment opportunity; it's not only an attractive dividend play, but the stock also boasts a strong Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy).