All investors love getting big returns from their portfolio, whether it's through stocks, bonds, ETFs, or other types of securities. However, 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 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 account for significant portions of long-term returns, with dividend contributions exceeding one-third of total returns in many cases.
Douglas Emmett in Focus
Headquartered in Santa Monica, Douglas Emmett (DEI - Free Report) is a Finance stock that has seen a price change of -30.09% so far this year. The real estate investment trust is paying out a dividend of $0.28 per share at the moment, with a dividend yield of 3.65% compared to the REIT and Equity Trust - Other industry's yield of 4.2% and the S&P 500's yield of 1.92%.
In terms of dividend growth, the company's current annualized dividend of $1.12 is up 5.7% from last year. In the past five-year period, Douglas Emmett has increased its dividend 5 times on a year-over-year basis for an average annual increase of 6.11%. 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. Douglas Emmett's current payout ratio is 52%, meaning 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 $2.13 per share, representing a year-over-year earnings growth rate of 1.43%.
From greatly improving stock investing profits and reducing overall portfolio risk to providing tax advantages, investors like dividends for a variety of different reasons. It's important to keep in mind that not all companies provide 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. During periods of rising interest rates, income investors must be mindful that high-yielding stocks tend to struggle. 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).