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Investors Bancorp (ISBC) is a Top Dividend Stock Right Now: Should You Buy?

All investors love getting big returns from their portfolio, whether it's through stocks, bonds, ETFs, or other types of securities. But 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 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 make up large portions of long-term returns, and in many cases, dividend contributions surpass one-third of total returns.

Investors Bancorp in Focus

Investors Bancorp (ISBC) is headquartered in Short Hills, and is in the Finance sector. The stock has seen a price change of 42.05% since the start of the year. The holding company for Investors Bank is currently shelling out a dividend of $0.14 per share, with a dividend yield of 3.73%. This compares to the Financial - Savings and Loan industry's yield of 2.42% and the S&P 500's yield of 1.28%.

In terms of dividend growth, the company's current annualized dividend of $0.56 is up 16.7% from last year. In the past five-year period, Investors Bancorp has increased its dividend 5 times on a year-over-year basis for an average annual increase of 16.15%. 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. Investors Bancorp's current payout ratio is 51%, meaning it paid out 51% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.

ISBC is expecting earnings to expand this fiscal year as well. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2021 is $1.17 per share, representing a year-over-year earnings growth rate of 24.47%.

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