Washington Federal Inc. (WAFD) recently announced a 10.0% increase in its quarterly common stock dividend to 11 cents per share. The dividend is payable on Jul 18, 2014 to common stockholders of record as of Jul 3.
Prior to this hike, this Seattle, WA-based savings and loans institution raised dividend in Feb, 2013, from 9 cents a share to 10 cents, a hike of 11.1%. Even during the recession, the company maintained its dividend payout to common shareholders. The new dividend will be the company’s 126th consecutive quarterly cash payout, denoting its consistent record of rewarding shareholders.
Washington Federal reported its second-quarter fiscal 2014 (ended Mar 31) earnings of 38 cents per share, up 11.8% from the prior-year quarter. In the reported quarter, Washington Federal repurchased 0.6 million shares for approximately $12.8 million. Additionally, the company received an authorization to repurchase 8.0 million shares.
As of Mar 31, 2014 Washington Federal had $14.4 billion in total assets, including $608.2 million in cash and cash equivalent. Given its strong capital and liquidity position, we believe that it will not be difficult for the company to keep paying dividends.
Currently, Washington Federal carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). Some better-ranked savings and loans institutions include Anchor Bancorp (ANCB), West Bancorp., Inc. (WTBA) and BankFinancial Corp. (BFIN). While Anchor Bancorp and West Bancorp sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), BankFinancial holds a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).