A dividend is a crucial measuring stick for investors. Higher yields tend to connote value stocks, while companies with a token payout, or none at all, tend to be growth stocks.
But a dividend isn’t the only way to measure value. A more expansive measure combines dividends with stock buybacks, which can reduce the amount of shares outstanding and increase the “earnings yield” of a stock. In a tough market for corporate profits, investors may want to consider that measure of “total yield” when evaluating a stock.