Whether it's through stocks, bonds, ETFs, or other types of securities, all investors love seeing their portfolios score big returns. 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 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.
Regency Centers in Focus
Based in Jacksonville, Regency Centers (REG - Free Report) is in the Finance sector, and so far this year, shares have seen a price change of 16.63%. Currently paying a dividend of $0.58 per share, the company has a dividend yield of 3.42%. In comparison, the REIT and Equity Trust - Retail industry's yield is 4.64%, while the S&P 500's yield is 1.91%.
In terms of dividend growth, the company's current annualized dividend of $2.34 is up 5.4% from last year. Over the last 5 years, Regency Centers has increased its dividend 5 times on a year-over-year basis for an average annual increase of 4.79%. 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. Right now, Regency Centers's payout ratio is 60%, which means it paid out 60% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.
REG is expecting earnings to expand this fiscal year as well. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2019 is $3.84 per share, with earnings expected to increase 0.15% 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 have to be mindful of the fact that high-yielding stocks tend to struggle during periods of rising interest rates. With that in mind, REG 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).