Getting big returns from financial portfolios, whether through stocks, bonds, ETFs, other securities, or a combination of all, is an investor's dream. 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 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.
First Horizon National in Focus
Based in Memphis, First Horizon National (FHN - Free Report) is in the Finance sector, and so far this year, shares have seen a price change of 24.32%. The bank holding company is paying out a dividend of $0.14 per share at the moment, with a dividend yield of 3.42% compared to the Banks - Southeast industry's yield of 1.85% and the S&P 500's yield of 1.89%.
Looking at dividend growth, the company's current annualized dividend of $0.56 is up 16.7% from last year. Over the last 5 years, First Horizon National has increased its dividend 5 times on a year-over-year basis for an average annual increase of 25.06%. 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. First Horizon's current payout ratio is 38%. This means it paid out 38% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.
FHN is expecting earnings to expand this fiscal year as well. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2019 is $1.59 per share, which represents a year-over-year growth rate of 12.77%.
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.
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, FHN 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).