Eq: Dividends

(New York)

It has been forecasted for some time, but now it is finally happening—US banks are hiking dividends. After getting the all clear from regulators after successful stress tests, US banks are beginning to hike their dividends. For instance, Morgan Stanley and Citigroup hiked their dividends by 13%+ recently, with both now yielding 2.5% or over. Bank stocks have been beat up over the last year, with Morgan Stanley down 10%, for instance.


FINSUM: On the one hand, bank stocks looked undervalued and now have attractive yields. On the other, if you think we are headed towards a slowdown, then it is not a good time to buy financial shares.

(New York)

Are you looking for a good dividend stock? Well, we have one for you. How about a stock that has risen 27% this year yet still has a 4% dividend yield and a very solid business? If that sounds good, take a look at Prudential Financial. The company is an asset manager and insurance provider, and has solid growth and financials and seeks to be financially prudent. “We believe in a very consistent and regular dividend that will be aligned with our earnings growth, says the CFO. The company has expected earnings growth of 8% this year.


FINSUM: Prudential is a pretty sleepy name, but there is nothing boring about a 4% dividend combined with earnings growth and market-beating price appreciation.

(New York)

Something the market has not had to deal with for some time is once again occurring. That change? Slumping buybacks. Hiked dividends and big buybacks have been staples of the this historic bull run, but the latter are starting drying up. Share repurchases shrank for the first time in seven quarters in the second quarter. The total amount of buybacks—over $200 bn—is still quite robust, but it is a sign that companies are tightening up, which could be indicative of the overall direction of the economy.


FINSUM: This is immaterial. In 2018, companies spent $800 bn on buybacks, so $205.8 bn (the 2nd quarter’s figure) is actually ahead of pace.

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