Whether it's through stocks, bonds, ETFs, or other types of securities, all investors love seeing their portfolios score big returns. But for income investors, generating consistent cash flow from each of your liquid investments is your primary focus.
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.
Target in Focus
Headquartered in Minneapolis, Target (TGT - Free Report) is a Retail-Wholesale stock that has seen a price change of 33.61% so far this year. The retailer is paying out a dividend of $0.64 per share at the moment, with a dividend yield of 2.9% compared to the Retail - Discount Stores industry's yield of 0.99% and the S&P 500's yield of 1.95%.
In terms of dividend growth, the company's current annualized dividend of $2.56 is up 1.6% from last year. Over the last 5 years, Target has increased its dividend 5 times on a year-over-year basis for an average annual increase of 7.44%. Future dividend growth will depend on earnings growth as well as payout ratio, which is the proportion of a company's annual earnings per share that it pays out as a dividend. Target's current payout ratio is 46%, meaning it paid out 46% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.
Earnings growth looks solid for TGT for this fiscal year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2019 is $5.92 per share, which represents a year-over-year growth rate of 9.83%.
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 TGT is not only an attractive dividend play, but is also a compelling investment opportunity with a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy).