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 make up large portions of long-term returns, and in many cases, dividend contributions surpass one-third of total returns.
FNF Group in Focus
Headquartered in Jacksonville, FNF Group (FNF - Free Report) is a Finance stock that has seen a price change of 40.46% so far this year. The provider of title insurance and mortgage services is paying out a dividend of $0.31 per share at the moment, with a dividend yield of 2.81% compared to the Insurance - Property and Casualty industry's yield of 1.23% and the S&P 500's yield of 1.91%.
Looking at dividend growth, the company's current annualized dividend of $1.24 is up 3.3% from last year. In the past five-year period, FNF Group has increased its dividend 5 times on a year-over-year basis for an average annual increase of 13.85%. 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. FNF Group's current payout ratio is 45%, meaning it paid out 45% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.
FNF is expecting earnings to expand this fiscal year as well. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2019 is $2.85 per share, with earnings expected to increase 5.56% from the year ago period.
From greatly improving stock investing profits and reducing overall portfolio risk to providing tax advantages, investors like dividends for a variety of different reasons. 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 must be conscious of the fact that high-yielding stocks tend to struggle during periods of rising interest rates. With that in mind, FNF 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).