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 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.
AES in Focus
AES (AES) is headquartered in Arlington, and is in the Utilities sector. The stock has seen a price change of -34.47% since the start of the year. The power company is currently shelling out a dividend of $0.14 per share, with a dividend yield of 4.4%. This compares to the Utility - Electric Power industry's yield of 3.39% and the S&P 500's yield of 2.5%.
Looking at dividend growth, the company's current annualized dividend of $0.57 is up 4.4% from last year. AES has increased its dividend 4 times on a year-over-year basis over the last 5 years for an average annual increase of 7.89%. 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. AES's current payout ratio is 40%. This means it paid out 40% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.
Earnings growth looks solid for AES for this fiscal year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2020 is $1.43 per share, which represents a year-over-year growth rate of 5.15%.
Investors like dividends for many reasons; they greatly improve stock investing profits, decrease overall portfolio risk, and carry tax advantages, among others. But, not every company offers 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 must be conscious of the fact that high-yielding stocks tend to struggle during periods of rising interest rates. With that in mind, AES 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).