On Monday, ServisFirst Bancshares, Inc. SFBS hiked its quarterly common stock dividend by 36% from the prior-quarter payout to 15 cents per share. The new dividend will be paid on Jan 11, 2019, to shareholders of record as of Jan 2, 2019.
Since December 2016, the company has raised its dividend thrice. The dividend was last hiked in March 2018 by 120% to 11 cents per share. This reflects the company’s commitment to return value to shareholders with its strong cash-generation capabilities.
Such capital-deployment activities are part of ServisFirst Bancshares’ long-term strategy to boost shareholder value. It also provides banking services to individual and corporate customers in the United States, while sustaining financial stability and flexibility.
Considering Monday’s closing price of $33.48 per share, the dividend yield is currently valued at 1.79%.
Investors interested in this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock can have a look at the company’s fundamentals and growth opportunities. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Earnings Growth: ServisFirst Bancshares witnessed earnings growth of 20.2% in the last three to five years. This earnings momentum is likely to continue in the near term as indicated by the company’s projected earnings per share (EPS) growth rate (F1/F0) of 42.1% compared with industry average of 24.5%.
Revenue Strength: ServisFirst Bancshares’ revenues witnessed a CAGR of 20% over the last five years (2013-2017). Driven by an improving rate environment and rising loan demand, the company’s top line is expected to be up 16.9% in 2018 and 15.8% for 2019.
Strong Leverage: ServisFirst Bancshares’ debt/equity ratio is 0.09 compared with the industry average of 0.67. The relatively strong financial health of the company will help it perform better than its peers under a dynamic business environment.
Superior Return on Equity (ROE): ServisFirst Bancshares has an ROE of 19.45%, better than the industry average of 8.34%. This shows that the company reinvests its cash more efficiently.
Share Price Movement: ServisFirst Bancshares’ shares have lost around 19.3%, year to date, as against the 19.4% decline recorded by the industry.
Some other finance stocks which raised their dividends during the current quarter include Eaton Vance Corp. EV, Associated Banc-Corp ASB and Raymond James Financial, Inc. RJF. Eaton Vance raised its quarterly dividend by 12.9%, while Raymond James increased by 13.3%. Also, Associated Banc-Corp has announced a 13.3% rise in common stock dividend.
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