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Why Portland General Electric (POR) is a Great Dividend Stock Right Now

Dividends are one of the best benefits to being a shareholder, but finding a great dividend stock is no easy task. Does Portland General Electric (POR...

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This story originally appeared on Zacks

Whether it's through stocks, bonds, ETFs, or other types of securities, all investors love seeing their portfolios score big returns. However, when you're an income investor, your primary focus is generating consistent cash flow from each of your liquid investments.

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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.

Portland General Electric in Focus

Portland General Electric (POR) is headquartered in Portland, and is in the Utilities sector. The stock has seen a price change of 21.21% since the start of the year. The electric utility is paying out a dividend of $0.43 per share at the moment, with a dividend yield of 3.32% compared to the Utility - Electric Power industry's yield of 3.21% and the S&P 500's yield of 1.39%.

Taking a look at the company's dividend growth, its current annualized dividend of $1.72 is up 8.5% from last year. Portland General Electric has increased its dividend 4 times on a year-over-year basis over the last 5 years for an average annual increase of 6.05%. 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. Right now, Portland General Electric's payout ratio is 59%, which means it paid out 59% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.

POR is expecting earnings to expand this fiscal year as well. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2021 is $2.76 per share, which represents a year-over-year growth rate of 60.47%.

Bottom Line

Investors like dividends for many reasons; they greatly improve stock investing profits, decrease overall portfolio risk, and carry tax advantages, among others. But, not every company offers 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, POR 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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