Badger Meter, Inc.BMI recently announced a 15.4% year-over-year hike in its quarterly dividend payout. The proposed dividend of 15 cents per share or 60 cents on an annualized basis is payable Sep 14, 2018 to shareholders of record as on Aug 31.
Based on the closing price of $52.25 on Aug 10, the proposed dividend affirms a yield of 1.1%. A steady dividend payout is part of the long-term strategy of Badger Meter to provide attractive risk-adjusted returns to its stockholders. In addition, healthy dividend increases at periodic intervals have been one of its strengths.
This is the 26th consecutive year of dividend increase for Badger Meter. The dividend per share of the company has witnessed a CAGR of 11.2% from 2007-2017. The current hike reflects the inherent financial strength of the company and strong cash flow generated from continued focus on high-margin businesses and a healthy execution of operating plans. The company has outperformed the industry in the past three months with an average return of 20.7% compared with 8% rise for the latter.
Badger Meter is poised to gain from growing demand for E-Series meters and ORION cellular endpoints, as well as BEACON Advanced Metering Analytics managed solution. The company stated that a number of impactful product-development initiatives are currently underway. The company will release the next version of the E-series residential meters, which will be available by the end of the year. For ORION Cellular, Badger Meter will launch Cat-M chips, which are the next-generation chips for business-to-business cellular communication.
In addition, Badger Meter's opportunities for 2019 and beyond include Phyn - a joint venture between Belkin International, Inc. and Uponor Corporation - which utilizes its D-Flow ultrasonic technology in a smart water monitoring system for residential use. Moreover, inclusion in AT&T's Smart City Alliance, a framework created by AT&T Inc. T , will allow Badger Meter to explore new ways for its smart water solutions to join forces with industry-leading cellular networks.
Badger Meter presently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Better-ranked stocks in the industry include Thermon Group Holdings, Inc. THR and Woodward, Inc. WWD , each sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
Thermon Group surpassed estimates in each of the trailing four quarters with an average positive earnings surprise of 82.6%.
Woodward has a long-term earnings growth expectation of 12.3%. It topped estimates thrice in the trailing four quarters with an average positive earnings surprise of 2.4%.