Getting big returns from financial portfolios, whether through stocks, bonds, ETFs, other securities, or a combination of all, is an investor's dream. However, 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 account for significant portions of long-term returns, with dividend contributions exceeding one-third of total returns in many cases.
Boston Properties in Focus
Headquartered in Boston, Boston Properties (BXP - Free Report) is a Finance stock that has seen a price change of 15.66% so far this year. The real estate investment trust is currently shelling out a dividend of $0.95 per share, with a dividend yield of 2.92%. This compares to the REIT and Equity Trust - Other industry's yield of 4.34% and the S&P 500's yield of 1.92%.
In terms of dividend growth, the company's current annualized dividend of $3.80 is up 8.6% from last year. Boston Properties has increased its dividend 3 times on a year-over-year basis over the last 5 years for an average annual increase of 9.78%. 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. Boston Properties's current payout ratio is 56%, meaning it paid out 56% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.
BXP is expecting earnings to expand this fiscal year as well. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2019 is $7.03 per share, with earnings expected to increase 11.59% from the year ago period.
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 have to be mindful of the fact that high-yielding stocks tend to struggle during periods of rising interest rates. With that in mind, BXP 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).