Financial Stocks Drifting Just Underwater Near Bell; Allied World OKs 3-for-1 Stock Split, Higher Dividend


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Financial stocks were little changed in late Friday trading with the NYSE Financial Sector Index slipping less than 0.1% and the S&P Financial 100 Index also declining less than 0.1%.

In company news, shares of Allied World Assurance ( AWH ) are higher just ahead of Friday's regular-session close and the Swiss property and casualty insurer saying shareholder late yesterday approved a 35% increase in the company's dividend payout along with a new $500 million stock buyback program and a 3-for-1 split of the company's stock.

The moves were all cleared Thursday during AWH's annual shareholders meeting. The stock split is scheduled to take place following the market close on May 22, with shareholders of record on May 12 receive two additional shares of the company's stock for each share they now own.

The stock's share price will reflect the post-split price at the start of trading on May 23.

Shareholders also approved a proposal raising the annual dividend payout, pre-split, by $0.70 to $2.70 per share, with the first quarterly payment due in July. The new stock buyback program replaces the company's 2012 program.

AWH shares were ahead 0.5% at $109.34 each, earlier climbing to a session high of $110.60 a share. The stock has a 52-week range of $88.00 to $113.28 a share.

In other sector news,

(+) ELLI, Q1 earnings of $0.16 per share top estimates by $0.02. Revenue grows 4.2% year over year to $32.2 mln, beating Street view by $1.4 mln. Guides FY14 revenue at least $430,000 over the analyst consensus.

(-) PSA, Reports core funds from operations of $1.80 per share, up from $1.65 last year but trailing analyst expectations by $0.06 per share. Revenue rose 5.1% year over year to $418.5 mln, lagging consensus view by around $64.29 mln.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

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