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Emerson Electric (EMR) is a Top Dividend Stock Right Now: Should You Buy?

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

While cash flow can come from bond interest or interest from other types of investments, income investors hone in on dividends. A dividend is the distribution of a company's earnings paid out to shareholders; it's often viewed by its dividend yield, a metric that measures a 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.

Emerson Electric in Focus

Emerson Electric (EMR) is headquartered in St. Louis, and is in the Industrial Products sector. The stock has seen a price change of 12.37% since the start of the year. The maker of process controls systems, valves and analytical instruments is paying out a dividend of $0.51 per share at the moment, with a dividend yield of 2.28% compared to the Manufacturing - Electronics industry's yield of 0.34% and the S&P 500's yield of 1.36%.

In terms of dividend growth, the company's current annualized dividend of $2.06 is up 2% from last year. Emerson Electric has increased its dividend 5 times on a year-over-year basis over the last 5 years for an average annual increase of 1.28%. 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. Emerson Electric's current payout ratio is 49%. This means it paid out 49% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.

EMR is expecting earnings to expand this fiscal year as well. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2021 is $4.82 per share, with earnings expected to increase 17.56% from the year ago period.

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.

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, EMR presents a compelling investment opportunity; it's not only an attractive dividend play, but the stock also boasts a strong Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy).


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