If you're an investor thinking about retirement, you probably have a few things on your mind. You want stocks that produce robust returns that aren't volatile and that you can rely on to increase your nest egg. You may also want stocks that produce consistent income via dividends that may help you supplement your retirement income.
If you can get great dividends and great returns in one stock, well, that might be considered a retiree's dream stock. Here is one stock that has provided both for a long time and should continue to do so -- T. Rowe Price Group (TROW -2.00%).
Gaining market share
T. Rowe Price, an asset management firm, is about as steady and stable as a company gets. T. Rowe has posted a 10-year annualized return of 12.3% through the 10-year period that ended this July, which beats the S&P 500's 9.6% annualized return over that same period. As of Tuesday morning, when the financial sector was down about 22% year to date and financial services companies were down about 12%, T. Rowe Price was once again outperforming, up almost 13%.
In the second quarter, the company saw revenue climb 1.4% to $1.4 billion and net income rise 8.3% to $539 million. Earnings per share jumped 12.8% to $2.29 per share. Assets under management (AUM) climbed 21% in the quarter to $1.2 trillion. It is a continuation of the steady climb this firm has enjoyed over the past decade, rising even through a recession. Over the past 10 years, it has had only three quarters of year-over-year revenue declines, and one of those quarters was statistically flat with a 0.8% decline.
The consistent performance has enabled it to outgrow its main competitors, Franklin Resources and Legg Mason, which, by the way, are in the process of merging. Both of these competitors were larger than T. Rowe Price 10 years ago. Now, they both have far less in AUM. Before the merger, which was set to close at the end of July, Legg Mason had $783 billion in AUM while Franklin had $622 billion.
T. Rowe's growth has been fueled by a few different factors. One is its diversity of assets. About 54% of its assets are in mutual funds, while 26% are in separate accounts or sub-advised assets, and 18% are in other investments, like retirement date investments. While mutual fund flows can be volatile, separate account and sub-advised assets are more stable. Plus, T. Rowe has earned a reputation for stock-picking, as roughly three-quarters of its funds have outperformed the Morningstar median over the past decade.
It's all built on a great balance sheet as the company is debt-free with about $5.7 billion in liquid assets, including $2 billion in cash equivalents. This has allowed it to repurchase shares, 9.6 million in the first half of 2020, and make strategic investments, including $225 million for a technology upgrade this year. It is also rolling out a line of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in August, including the Blue Chip Growth, Dividend Growth, Equity Income, and Growth Stock ETFs. These new products should drive continued growth for T. Rowe Price.
A Dividend Aristocrat
The strong balance sheet and steady growth have enabled T. Rowe Price to achieve Dividend Aristocrat status, which means it has increased its dividend for more than 25 years straight. There are only 66 stocks that can make this claim.
T. Rowe's dividend is what really makes it a retiree's dream stock. In addition to the stock's gains, you earn $0.90 per share each quarter at a yield of 2.6%. For the year, that's $3.60 per share, so if you own 500 shares, that's $1,800 per year in your pocket. With its strong balance sheet, no debt, and steady growth, there is no reason to expect that T. Rowe Price won't continue to increase their dividend for many years to come. In these uncertain times, investors, particularly retirees, should be able to count on T. Rowe Price.