United Insurance Hikes Dividend by 33.3%

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The board of directors of United Insurance Holdings Corp. (UIHC) approved a 33.3% increase in its annual cash dividend. The property and casualty insurer will now pay a quarterly dividend of 4 cents per share, up from 3 cents per share distributed in the previous quarter. The first increased quarterly dividend will be paid on Mar 21, 2014 to shareholders of record as on Mar 14.

The increased quarterly dividend is equivalent to an annual dividend of 16 cents per share. Based on yesterday’s closing share price of $14.01, the increased dividend implies a yield of 1.14% for United Insurance.

The dividend hike of United Insurance was primarily supported by its consolidated financial position and sturdy bottom-line growth, which resulted from a surge in the top line. Moreover, strong retained earnings also cushion the dividend payout. Retained earnings at the end of 2013 stood at $80.1 million, increasing 29.8% year over year.

Based on around 16.2 million shares outstanding, United Insurance will have to dish out roughly $2.6 million as quarterly dividend.

Among other insurers, the board of directors of FBL Financial Group Inc. (FFG) recently approved a 133% increase in its quarterly cash dividend. The multi line insurer will now pay a dividend of 35 cents per share, significantly higher than 15 cents distributed earlier.

The board of another property and casualty insurer, AmTrust Financial Services, Inc. (AFSI) raised its regular quarterly dividend by 43% on Feb 18, 2014. The company will now pay a quarterly dividend of 20 cents per share, up from 14 cents a share paid previously.

The board of directors at XL Group plc (XL) recently approved a 14.3% hike in its quarterly dividend. The company will now pay a dividend of 16 cents per share, up from 14 cents paid on Dec 31, 2013.

United Insurance presently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
 

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