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Why Douglas Emmett (DEI) is a Great Dividend Stock Right Now

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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.

While cash flow can come from bond interest or interest from other types of investments, income investors hone in on 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.

Douglas Emmett in Focus

Based in Santa Monica, Douglas Emmett (DEI - Free Report) is in the Finance sector, and so far this year, shares have seen a price change of -36.08%. Currently paying a dividend of $0.28 per share, the company has a dividend yield of 3.99%. In comparison, the REIT and Equity Trust - Other industry's yield is 5.06%, while the S&P 500's yield is 2.09%.

Looking at dividend growth, the company's current annualized dividend of $1.12 is up 5.7% from last year. Over the last 5 years, Douglas Emmett has increased its dividend 5 times on a year-over-year basis for an average annual increase of 6.11%. 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. Douglas Emmett's current payout ratio is 52%. This means it paid out 52% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.

Looking at this fiscal year, DEI expects solid earnings growth. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2020 is $2.14 per share, with earnings expected to increase 1.90% from the year ago period.

Bottom Line

From greatly improving stock investing profits and reducing overall portfolio risk to providing tax advantages, investors like dividends for a variety of different reasons. 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. 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, DEI 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).


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