The board of directors of
StanCorp Financial Group Inc.
) approved 18% increase in its annual cash dividend. The life
insurer will now pay an annual dividend of $1.10 per share, up
from 93 cents per share paid on Dec 7, 2012. The newly declared
dividend will be paid on Dec 9, 2013 to shareholders of record as
on Nov 25, 2013.
Following the news of the dividend increase, share price of
StanCorp inched up 1.7% to close at $63.58 per share on Nov 13.
Based on yesterday's closing share price, the increased dividend
of StanCorp implies a yield of 1.73%. The current yield is better
than that of other life insurers,
American Equity Investment Life Holding Co.
) (yield of 0.69%) and
Lincoln National Corp.
) (yield of 0.98%). Moreover, the 5-year average dividend yield
of StanCorp presently stands at 2.11%, which is higher than the
industry yield of 1.32%.
The dividend hike of StanCorp was primarily supported by its
consolidated capital position and bottom-line growth, which
resulted from increased favorable claims experience in the group
insurance business and higher earnings in the company's Asset
Management segment. The increasing cash balance of the company
also supported the approval.
StanCorp exited the third quarter with cash and cash
equivalents of $345.4 million, significantly up from $160.7
million as of Dec 31, 2012. Based on about 44.1 million shares
outstanding, the company will have to dish out roughly $49.1
million as annual dividend.
AMER EQUITY INV (AEL): Free Stock Analysis
CHINA LIFE INS (LFC): Free Stock Analysis
LINCOLN NATL-IN (LNC): Free Stock Analysis
STANCORP FNL CP (SFG): Free Stock Analysis
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.
With the recent approval, the company marks the 14th consecutive
annual increase in dividend. Prior to this, in Nov 2012 the board
had approved a 4.5% increase, raising the dividend to 93 cents
per share from 89 cents.
StanCorp presently carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). With the
recent news announcement, we expect analysts to raise their
estimates. Among others in the space,
China Life Insurance Co. Ltd
) with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) appears impressive.