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.
While cash flow can come from bond interest or interest from other types of investments, income investors hone in on 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 make up large portions of long-term returns, and in many cases, dividend contributions surpass one-third of total returns.
Target in Focus
Target (TGT - Free Report) is headquartered in Minneapolis, and is in the Retail-Wholesale sector. The stock has seen a price change of -21.61% since the start of the year. The retailer is currently shelling out a dividend of $0.66 per share, with a dividend yield of 2.63%. This compares to the Retail - Discount Stores industry's yield of 0.87% and the S&P 500's yield of 2.67%.
In terms of dividend growth, the company's current annualized dividend of $2.64 is up 1.5% from last year. Over the last 5 years, Target has increased its dividend 5 times on a year-over-year basis for an average annual increase of 5.01%. 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. Target's current payout ratio is 41%. This means it paid out 41% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.
Looking at this fiscal year, TGT expects solid earnings growth. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2020 is $6.84 per share, representing a year-over-year earnings growth rate of 7.04%.
Investors like dividends for a variety of different reasons, from tax advantages and decreasing overall portfolio risk to considerably improving stock investing profits. However, not all companies offer 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. During periods of rising interest rates, income investors must be mindful that high-yielding stocks tend to struggle. With that in mind, TGT 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).