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Cullen/Frost Bankers (CFR) Could Be a Great Choice

Getting big returns from financial portfolios, whether through stocks, bonds, ETFs, other securities, or a combination of all, is an investor's dream. 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 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.

Cullen/Frost Bankers in Focus

Headquartered in San Antonio, Cullen/Frost Bankers (CFR) is a Finance stock that has seen a price change of 10.9% so far this year. Currently paying a dividend of $0.87 per share, the company has a dividend yield of 2.49%. In comparison, the Banks - Southwest industry's yield is 1.63%, while the S&P 500's yield is 1.76%.

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Looking at dividend growth, the company's current annualized dividend of $3.48 is up 18.4% from last year. Over the last 5 years, Cullen/Frost Bankers has increased its dividend 4 times on a year-over-year basis for an average annual increase of 5.54%. Any future dividend growth will depend on both earnings growth and the company's payout ratio; a payout ratio is the proportion of a firm's annual earnings per share that it pays out as a dividend. Right now, Cullen/Frost's payout ratio is 46%, which means it paid out 46% of its trailing 12-month EPS as dividend.

Earnings growth looks solid for CFR for this fiscal year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2022 is $8.08 per share, which represents a year-over-year growth rate of 19.53%.

Bottom Line

Investors like dividends for many reasons; they greatly improve stock investing profits, decrease overall portfolio risk, and carry tax advantages, among others. However, not all companies offer 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. 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 CFR is not only an attractive dividend play, but also represents a compelling investment opportunity with a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy).


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