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IDACORP (IDA) Rewards Shareholders With 6.3% Dividend Hike

Zacks Equity Research

IDACORP Inc. IDA announced that the board of directors has approved a 6.3% increase in the quarterly dividend rate. Notably, the revised dividend will be 67 cents. The new annualized dividend rate of the company is $2.68 while the current dividend yield is 2.41%, better than the S&P 500’s 1.88%.

IDACORP’s management has been annually raising dividend rate for the past few years. It belongs to an exclusive group of companies that raise dividend rate consecutively. The board of directors approved increase in dividend this month, leading to a total increase of 123% in the annualized dividend since 2012. Its management raised the quarterly dividend rate for this year as well.

For the long term, the company’s management aims at upwardly revising the dividend rate by 5% or more. This would keep IDACORP near the upper end of the current target payout ratio of between 50% and 60%.

Can IDACORP’s Trend of Dividend Hikes Continue?

IDACORP’s regulated electric operations in Idaho generate a relatively stable and growing earnings stream. Ongoing economic improvements in its service territories have helped the company in expanding the customer base. These factors are positively impacting the company’s operating income.

It projects capital expenditure to be nearly $1.5 billion in the 2019-2023 time period. Owing to systematic investments for strengthening the generation portfolio, Idaho Power Hydroelectric Generation will be able to cater to the rising demand of the expanding customer base.

The company has undertaken initiatives to enhance financial strength and improve the core business. Notably, ongoing increase in customer base and its steady performance pave the way for further increase in annual dividend rate.

Zacks Rank & Other Key Picks

IDACORP currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Other top-ranked stocks in the same industry include PPL Corporation PPL, Alliant Energy Corporation LNT and The AES Corporation AES. All the companies carry a Zacks Rank #2. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

PPL Corporation, Alliant Energy and AES Corporation have a dividend yield of 5.21%, 2.67%, and 3.39%, respectively, compared with the S&P 500’s 1.88%.

PPL Corporation’s Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2019 has moved up 0.4% in the past 60 days.

Alliant Energy and AES Corporation’s long-term (three to five years) earnings growth is projected at 5.54% and 8.49%, respectively.

Price Movement

IDACORP’s shares have returned 10.9% in the past six months, outperforming 7.3% growth of the industry it belongs to.

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