WesBanco, Inc.’s WSBC board of directors has approved a hike in the quarterly cash dividend. The new dividend of 35 cents per share represents an increase of 2.9% from the previous dividend of 34 cents. The dividend will be paid out on Jan 3, 2023, to shareholders of record as of Dec 9, 2022.
Considering the last day’s closing price, WSBC’s dividend yield currently stands at 3.5%. The yield is attractive for income investors and represents a steady income stream.
WSBC has a record of continuously raising dividends. The latest dividend hike is the sixteenth time the company has increased its quarterly dividend since 2010.
Prior to this hike, the company announced a dividend hike in February 2022. The dividend was increased from 33 cents per share to 34 cents. The dividend was paid out on Apr 1 to shareholders of record as of Mar 11.
The company also has an efficient share repurchase plan. On Feb 24, 2022, it announced that its board of directors authorized a stock repurchase plan for the purchase of up to an additional 3.2 million shares.
The new repurchase authorization was in addition to the company’s earlier stock repurchase program announced on Aug 26, 2021.
As of Sep 30, 2022, 1.3 million shares remained available under the company’s existing share repurchase authorization.
Notably, WesBanco remains well-capitalized, with solid liquidity and a strong balance sheet. As of Sep 30, 2022, the company had $212.3 million in cash and due from banks.
In the first nine months of 2022, the company reported net income of $139.9 million or $2.19 per share.
Thus, given a robust liquidity position and decent earnings strength, the company is expected to continue with efficient capital deployment activities. By carrying out the same, it will keep enhancing shareholder value.
Over the past year, shares of WSBC have gained 13.5% against a 4.1% fall of the industry it belongs to.
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Currently, WSBC sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Dividend Hikes by Other Companies
Last month, Prosperity Bancshares PB announced that its board of directors declared a quarterly common stock dividend of 55 cents per share for the fourth quarter of 2022. The new dividend reflects an increase of 5.77% from the prior quarter.
PB’s new dividend will be paid out on Jan 3, 2023, to shareholders of record as of Dec 15, 2022.
We remain encouraged by Prosperity Bancshares’ robust capital deployment activities. The company has been annually increasing its dividend since 1999. Also, in January 2022, PB announced a share repurchase program (expiring on Jan 18, 2023) to buy back up to 4.6 million shares.
Similarly, the board of directors of Associated Banc-Corp ASB announced a regular quarterly cash dividend of 21 cents per share, representing a hike of 5% from the previous payout. The new dividend will be paid out on Dec 15 to shareholders of record as of Dec 1.
Given its earnings strength and efforts to improve liquidity position, Associated Banc-Corp’s capital deployment activities look sustainable. ASB has also been raising dividends on a regular basis. While the bank suspended share buybacks in 2020 to enhance liquidity amid the coronavirus-related concerns, it resumed the same in first-quarter 2021.
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