Associated Banc-Corp Hikes Dividend - Analyst Blog

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In an effort to further enhance stockholder value, Associated Banc-Corp ( ASBC ) announced a 12.5% hike in its quarterly cash dividend. The company declared a dividend of 9 cents per share to be paid on Dec 16 to shareholders of record as of Dec 2.

Prior to this, Associated Banc-Corp raised its quarterly cash dividend twice since the financial crisis. In Feb 2012, the dividend was raised by 400% to 5 cents per share from 1 cent, while in Nov 2012 it was further hiked by 60% to 8 cents.

However, back in 2008, the financial crisis severely hampered Associated Banc-Corp's performance, inducing an 84.3% dividend cut to 5 cents from 32 cents. Following this, the dividend was slashed to a penny when the company suffered losses worth almost $181 million in 2010 owing to bad loans.

Apart from regular dividend payments, Associated Banc-Corp has a share repurchase policy in place. In Jul 2013, the company announced a new share repurchase authorization worth up to $120.0 million, subject to certain regulatory approvals. Earlier, in Nov 2012, the company's board of directors authorized share repurchases worth up to $125.0 million.

Over the nine months ended Sep 30, 2013, Associated Banc-Corp bought back 5.9 million shares worth $90 million. Moreover, earlier this month, the company initiated an additional accelerated repurchase of 1.8 million shares.

The company's steady capital deployment program reflects its capital strength. As of Sep 30, 2013, Tier 1 risk-based capital ratio was 12.02%, and Tier 1 common equity ratio was 11.64%. Also, the company's cash and due from banks stood at $526 million as of that day.

Among others in banking sector, International Bancshares Corp. ( IBOC ) announced a hike in its semi-annual cash dividend in Sep 2013. The company raised its dividend by 15% to 23 cents per share.

Associated Banc-Corp currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). However, better-performing banking stocks in the Mid-West region include Private Bancorp Inc . ( PVTB ) and Tower Financial Corp. ( TOFC ), both carrying a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

ASSOC BANC CORP (ASBC): Free Stock Analysis Report


PRIVATEBANCORP (PVTB): Free Stock Analysis Report

TOWER FINANCIAL (TOFC): Free Stock Analysis Report

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

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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