Whether it's through stocks, bonds, ETFs, or other types of securities, all investors love seeing their portfolios score big returns. But 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.
Knoll in Focus
Headquartered in East Greenville, Knoll (KNL - Free Report) is a Business Services stock that has seen a price change of 44.54% so far this year. The workplace furniture and textile maker is paying out a dividend of $0.17 per share at the moment, with a dividend yield of 2.85% compared to the Business - Office Products industry's yield of 2.75% and the S&P 500's yield of 1.91%.
Taking a look at the company's dividend growth, its current annualized dividend of $0.68 is up 13.3% from last year. Over the last 5 years, Knoll has increased its dividend 2 times on a year-over-year basis for an average annual increase of 5.92%. Any future dividend growth will depend on both earnings growth and the company's payout ratio; a payout ratio is the proportion of a firm's annual earnings per share that it pays out as a dividend. Right now, Knoll's payout ratio is 35%, which means it paid out 35% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.
Looking at this fiscal year, KNL expects solid earnings growth. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2019 is $2.04 per share, representing a year-over-year earnings growth rate of 10.27%.
From greatly improving stock investing profits and reducing overall portfolio risk to providing tax advantages, investors like dividends for a variety of different reasons. However, not all companies offer 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, KNL presents a compelling investment opportunity; it's not only an attractive dividend play, but the stock also boasts a strong Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy).