All investors love getting big returns from their portfolio, whether it's through stocks, bonds, ETFs, or other types of securities. However, when you're an income investor, your primary focus is generating consistent cash flow from each of your liquid investments.
While cash flow can come from bond interest or interest from other types of investments, income investors hone in on 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
Eaton Vance (EV - Free Report) is headquartered in Boston, and is in the Finance sector. The stock has seen a price change of 18.45% since the start of the year. The investment manager is currently shelling out a dividend of $0.35 per share, with a dividend yield of 3.36%. This compares to the Financial - Investment Management industry's yield of 2.82% and the S&P 500's yield of 1.92%.
Looking at dividend growth, the company's current annualized dividend of $1.40 is up 9.4% from last year. Over the last 5 years, Eaton Vance has increased its dividend 5 times on a year-over-year basis for an average annual increase of 8.76%. 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. Eaton Vance's current payout ratio is 43%, meaning it paid out 43% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.
Earnings growth looks solid for EV for this fiscal year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2019 is $3.34 per share, with earnings expected to increase 4.05% 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. It's important to keep in mind that not all companies provide 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. That said, they can take comfort from the fact that EV is not only an attractive dividend play, but is also a compelling investment opportunity with a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy).