Dividends are nice, but dividends combined with the potential for growth can produce incredible returns over the long run. The growth leads to dividend increases, and the compounding of an increasing income stream over time is one of the most powerful investment tools you have to work with.
We asked three of our top analysts to pick their favorite dividend stock with huge growth opportunities, and this is what they came up with.
Todd Campbell: BlackRock (NYSE:BLK) is already a Goliath in the money management industry, but it could get even bigger given how many people are under-saving for retirement. About 80% of people aged 55 or younger don't think they've put enough money away.
Because people are living longer, and medical expenses for seniors are climbing, more people will need to invest if they hope to avoid outliving their money. If that's true, BlackRock will likely be a big beneficiary.
BlackRock already manages more than $4.5 trillion (yes, with a "T") dollars that are invested across equities, fixed income, alternative, and hybrid products. That positions BlackRock perfectly to capture a big chunk of future investments; but the business that may benefit most may be BlackRock's iShares.
Since acquiring iShares in 2009, investors embracing low cost ETFs have lifted iShares assets under management from $570 billion in 2010 to $975 billion exiting the third quarter. As a result, BlackRock's iShares revenue has jumped from $1.9 billion in 2010 to an annualized pace of about $3.3 billion. If that kind of growth continues, it should provide BlackRock with plenty of shareholder-friendly cash flow to support future dividend hikes.
Matt Frankel: National Retail Properties (NYSE:NNN) is one of the largest real estate investment trusts (REITs) specializing in commercial retail properties. The trust currently owns more than 1,900 properties in 47 states, and its tenants operate in 37 different lines of retail and service businesses.
The company's real estate holdings have an occupancy rate of 98.2%, well above the industry average of 92%. In terms of performance, National Retail Properties pays an excellent dividend of 4.5%, which has been increased for 24 consecutive years. It has delivered an average annual total return of 13.4% during the past 20 years, a time period that includes one of the worst real estate crashes in history.
One of my favorite aspects of National Retail Properties is that its tenants are all on triple-net leases -- hence the company's ticker symbol -- for long periods of time -- five to 10 years or more. What this means is that the tenants are responsible for taxes, insurance, and maintenance. So, the company has no risk involved with rising property taxes or insurance rates. It simply collects a rent check each month.
National Retail Properties is a great play on the U.S. real estate recovery, as well as the trend of rising rent. Its track record of growth and income speaks for itself.
John Maxfield: When I think of a big dividend stock with huge growth opportunities, the first one that comes to mind is New York Community Bancorp (NYSE:NYCB), a mid-size regional bank that specializes in rent-controlled multi-family units in the New York City metropolitan area.
There are two reasons for this. First, the exceptionally well-run lender already pays a generous dividend. In fact, its entire business model is predicated on passing the lion's share of its earnings onto shareholders. In 2013, for example, it earned $475 million, and distributed $440 million of that to the holders of its common stock. The net result is stock that yields 6.7%.
The second reason is that New York Community Bancorp is positioned to not only increase in size, but to boost its profitability, as well. Because the bank has never focused on retail deposits, its cost of funds has always been high relative to competitors. During the last few years, however, it's expressed interest in a "transformative" acquisition that could change this. Such a move would drive down New York Community Bancorp's cost of funds, boost its net income, and ultimately lead to a marked increase in its quarterly payout.