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Are You Looking for a High-Growth Dividend Stock? Principal Financial (PFG) Could Be a Great Choice

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.

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.

Principal Financial in Focus

Principal Financial (PFG) is headquartered in Des Moines, and is in the Finance sector. The stock has seen a price change of 32.38% since the start of the year. The financial services company is paying out a dividend of $0.54 per share at the moment, with a dividend yield of 3.69% compared to the Financial - Investment Management industry's yield of 2.76% and the S&P 500's yield of 1.88%.

Looking at dividend growth, the company's current annualized dividend of $2.16 is up 2.9% from last year. In the past five-year period, Principal Financial has increased its dividend 5 times on a year-over-year basis for an average annual increase of 11.52%. 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. Principal Financial's current payout ratio is 39%. This means it paid out 39% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.

PFG is expecting earnings to expand this fiscal year as well. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2019 is $5.70 per share, representing a year-over-year earnings growth rate of 3.07%.

Bottom Line

Investors like dividends for a variety of different reasons, from tax advantages and decreasing overall portfolio risk to considerably improving stock investing profits. But, not every company offers 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. Income investors must be conscious of the fact that high-yielding stocks tend to struggle during periods of rising interest rates. That said, they can take comfort from the fact that PFG is not only an attractive dividend play, but is also a compelling investment opportunity with a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy).


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