This is Why EastGroup Properties (EGP) is a Great Dividend Stock

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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.

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.

EastGroup Properties in Focus

EastGroup Properties (EGP) is headquartered in Ridgeland, and is in the Finance sector. The stock has seen a price change of 1.73% since the start of the year. The real estate investment trust is paying out a dividend of $0.75 per share at the moment, with a dividend yield of 2.22% compared to the REIT and Equity Trust – Other industry’s yield of 3.99% and the S&P 500’s yield of 1.92%.

In terms of dividend growth, the company’s current annualized dividend of $3 is up 2% from last year. Over the last 5 years, EastGroup Properties has increased its dividend 5 times on a year-over-year basis for an average annual increase of 5.93%. 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. EastGroup Properties’s current payout ratio is 60%, meaning it paid out 60% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.

Looking at this fiscal year, EGP expects solid earnings growth. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2020 is $5.30 per share, with earnings expected to increase 6.43% 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. It’s important to keep in mind that not all companies provide a quarterly payout.

Big, established firms that have more secure profits are often seen as the best dividend options, but it’s fairly uncommon to see high-growth businesses or tech start-ups offer their stockholders a dividend. 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, EGP 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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