All investors love getting big returns from their portfolio, whether it's through stocks, bonds, ETFs, or other types of securities. 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.
Carter's in Focus
Carter's (CRI - Free Report) is headquartered in Atlanta, and is in the Consumer Discretionary sector. The stock has seen a price change of 17.08% since the start of the year. The maker of children's apparel and accessories is paying out a dividend of $1 per share at the moment, with a dividend yield of 2.09% compared to the Shoes and Retail Apparel industry's yield of 1.05% and the S&P 500's yield of 1.96%.
Looking at dividend growth, the company's current annualized dividend of $2 is up 11.1% from last year. Carter's has increased its dividend 5 times on a year-over-year basis over the last 5 years for an average annual increase of 24.32%. 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. Carter's's current payout ratio is 33%. This means it paid out 33% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.
CRI is expecting earnings to expand this fiscal year as well. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2019 is $6.64 per share, with earnings expected to increase 5.56% from the year ago period.
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, CRI 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).