This is Why Regions Financial (RF) is a Great Dividend Stock

Zacks Equity Research

Getting big returns from financial portfolios, whether through stocks, bonds, ETFs, other securities, or a combination of all, is an investor's dream. However, 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.

Regions Financial in Focus

Based in Birmingham, Regions Financial (RF) is in the Finance sector, and so far this year, shares have seen a price change of -3.61%. The holding company for Regions Bank is paying out a dividend of $0.16 per share at the moment, with a dividend yield of 3.75% compared to the Banks - Southeast industry's yield of 1.84% and the S&P 500's yield of 1.78%.

Taking a look at the company's dividend growth, its current annualized dividend of $0.62 is up 5.1% from last year. In the past five-year period, Regions Financial has increased its dividend 5 times on a year-over-year basis for an average annual increase of 28.24%. 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. Regions Financial'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 RF for this fiscal year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2020 is $1.62 per share, which represents a year-over-year growth rate of 4.52%.

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. 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. During periods of rising interest rates, income investors must be mindful that high-yielding stocks tend to struggle. With that in mind, RF 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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