In trading on Friday, shares of Host Hotels & Resorts Inc (NYSE:HST) were yielding above the 2% mark based on its quarterly dividend (annualized to $0.32), with the stock changing hands as low as $15.96 on the day. Dividends are particularly important for investors to consider, because historically speaking dividends have provided a considerable share of the stock market's total return. To illustrate, suppose for example you purchased shares of the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) back on 12/31/1998 — you would have paid $123.31 per share. Fast forward to 12/31/2011 and each share was worth $125.50 on that date, a mere $2.19 or 1.8% increase over all those years. But now consider that you collected a whopping $23.90 per share in dividends over the same period, increasing your return to 21.15%. Even with dividends reinvested, that only amounts to an average annual total return of about 1.7%; so by comparison collecting a yield above 2% would appear considerably attractive if that yield is sustainable. Host Hotels & Resorts Inc (NYSE:HST) is an S&P 500 company, giving it special status as one of the large-cap companies making up the S&P 500 Index.
In general, dividend amounts are not always predictable and tend to follow the ups and downs of profitability at each company. In the case of Host Hotels & Resorts Inc, looking at the history chart for HST below can help in judging whether the most recent dividend is likely to continue, and in turn whether it is a reasonable expectation to expect a 2% annual yield.
HST Dividend History
* Data may be adjusted for splits; we are not responsible for data errors; always verify data with the company.
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