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Fulton Financial Rewards Shareholders With Capital Actions

Zacks Equity Research
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Fulton Financial Corporation FULT has announced new capital actions that will enhance shareholder value. The bank announced an 8.3% hike in its quarterly cash dividend and authorized a new share repurchase plan.

Fulton Financial declared a quarterly dividend of 13 cents per share. The dividend will be paid on Apr 15 to shareholders on record as of Apr 1.

Fulton Financial has been regularly increasing dividend since 2015. Along with this, the bank has been paying special dividend on an annual basis since 2014. The last special dividend of 4 cents per share was paid in December 2018.

Fulton Financial’s current quarterly dividend is still below its pre-crisis level quarterly payout of 15 cents per share, which was last paid in January 2009. Subsequently, the bank had lowered its quarterly dividend to 3 cents per share.

Now coming to the new share buyback plan, Fulton Financial has authorized repurchase of up to $100 million worth of shares or 3.5% of the company’s outstanding shares. The new buyback plan will expire on Dec 31, 2019.

In November 2018, Fulton Financial had announced a repurchase plan worth $75 million. As of Mar 15, 2019, nearly $5.5 million worth of old share buyback authorization remained.

Driven by a healthy liquidity position, Fulton Financial remains well poised to increase shareholders’ wealth through regular dividend payments and share buybacks. Also, the bank’s capital deployment activities look sustainable, given its earnings strength.

Favorable operating environment, lower tax rates and less stringent regulations led to an increase in banks’ profits. The banks are consequently rewarding shareholders through dividend hikes, special dividends and additional share repurchases.

Several other banks including Associated Banc-Corp ASB, Old National Bancorp ONB and Stifel Financial Corporation SF have announced additional buyback authorizations and/or a rise in quarterly dividends.

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Associated Banc-Corp (ASB) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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Fulton Financial Corporation (FULT) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Stifel Financial Corporation (SF) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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