An important part of share investment returns are dividends. In Australia, most companies pay dividends twice per year although there are many that pay quarterly. When the performance of dividend paying stocks is compared to those that do not pay dividends, the difference from a total return perspective (capital appreciation plus dividends plus franking credits) can be quite significant.
Companies that manage their cash flow effectively tend to sustain and grow their dividend payouts over time. Successful growth of earnings usually pays off for investors in the form of higher share prices.