Getting big returns from financial portfolios, whether through stocks, bonds, ETFs, other securities, or a combination of all, is an investor's dream. But 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 make up large portions of long-term returns, and in many cases, dividend contributions surpass one-third of total returns.
Horace Mann in Focus
Horace Mann (HMN - Free Report) is headquartered in Springfield, and is in the Finance sector. The stock has seen a price change of -23.77% since the start of the year. The provider of auto and homeowners' insurance for teachers and other educators is currently shelling out a dividend of $0.3 per share, with a dividend yield of 3.61%. This compares to the Insurance - Multi line industry's yield of 2.96% and the S&P 500's yield of 2.79%.
Looking at dividend growth, the company's current annualized dividend of $1.20 is up 4.3% from last year. Horace Mann has increased its dividend 5 times on a year-over-year basis over the last 5 years for an average annual increase of 3.45%. 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. Horace Mann's current payout ratio is 53%. This means it paid out 53% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.
HMN is expecting earnings to expand this fiscal year as well. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2020 is $2.75 per share, with earnings expected to increase 25% from the year ago period.
From greatly improving stock investing profits and reducing overall portfolio risk to providing tax advantages, investors like dividends for a variety of different reasons. But, not every company offers a quarterly payout.
High-growth firms or tech start-ups, for example, rarely provide their shareholders a dividend, while larger, more established companies that have more secure profits are often seen as the best dividend options. 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, HMN 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).