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City Holding (CHCO) is a Top Dividend Stock Right Now: Should You Buy?

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 account for significant portions of long-term returns, with dividend contributions exceeding one-third of total returns in many cases.

City Holding in Focus

Based in Charleston, City Holding (CHCO) is in the Finance sector, and so far this year, shares have seen a price change of 10.65%. The bank holding company for City National Bank of West Virginia is paying out a dividend of $0.53 per share at the moment, with a dividend yield of 2.83% compared to the Banks - Southeast industry's yield of 1.87% and the S&P 500's yield of 1.94%.

Looking at dividend growth, the company's current annualized dividend of $2.12 is up 11% from last year. Over the last 5 years, City Holding has increased its dividend 5 times on a year-over-year basis for an average annual increase of 5.52%. Looking ahead, future dividend growth will be dependent on earnings growth and payout ratio, which is the proportion of a company's annual earnings per share that it pays out as a dividend. Right now, City Holding's payout ratio is 40%, which means it paid out 40% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.

Looking at this fiscal year, CHCO expects solid earnings growth. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2019 is $5.36 per share, representing a year-over-year earnings growth rate of 3.88%.

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. However, not all companies offer 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. During periods of rising interest rates, income investors must be mindful that high-yielding stocks tend to struggle. With that in mind, CHCO 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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